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Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Thursday, 11 February 2010

Steven Pressley succeeds Eddie May as Falkirk manager


Pressley certain of Bairns' SPL survival

Steven Pressley is the new manager of Falkirk, following Eddie May's decision to step down at the struggling Scottish Premier League club.

The 36-year-old former Hearts skipper takes over with the Bairns three points adrift at the foot of the table.

"Make no mistake about it, Falkirk will stay in the Premier League," said Pressley, who also played for Rangers, Celtic and Dundee United.

"I wouldn't be taking this job if I didn't think I could keep us up."

Pressley, stepping into his first managerial position, will be assisted by veteran former Aberdeen and St Mirren boss Alex Smith, who had been director of football under May.

"I have the utmost respect for Eddie as a person and a manager," said Pressley, who has second in command to May. "He made some very difficult decisions in his time here; decisions that I believe will help this club in the future.

"There are several aspects of management; tactical, motivational and psychological and although myself and Eddie agreed on many, we differed greatly on others.

"You can dress management up any way that you want but the single most important factor is winning games of football and I intend to bring that to this club.


"I have a huge belief in this current group of players, my staff, the board and my ability to manage, and because of that we will stay in this division, no doubt about it."

This season has seen the Bairns lose 15 of their 27 games in all competitions, winning four and drawing eight..

And chairman Martin Ritchie said: "Eddie May has served this club extremely well for the last six years. In his role as academy director he has played a key role in transforming the club's youth system and developing our football infrastructure.

"He took on a very difficult and challenging task in the summer, leaving a secure position, and unfortunately that has not quite worked as we would all have hoped."

May, who succeeded John Hughes last June told BBC Scotland: "I just felt that at this moment in time the football club might benefit from someone else taking the reins.

"I had four-and-a-half good years as a player here and really enjoyed my time.


May explains decision to quit

"Helping set up a very good academy and helping young guys progress. I was the first Falkirk manager to play in Europe and win.

"Results over the course haven't been ideal. There've been restrictions at the football club, which have made it very difficult.

"It's not easy in the current climate to then go and try to do the right things.

"I had to look deep within and see what's best for Eddie May and for the football club.

"I've had a fantastic near 11 years here and really enjoyed it and go with a lot of happy memories."

May had been on the coaching staff for five years and was credited with a major role in the development of first-team players such as captain Darren Barr, Thomas Scobbie and Scott Arfield.

At the time of his appointment, May said he was relishing the prospect of "moving up to the next level".

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see also
Falkirk 0-1 Kilmarnock
10 Feb 10 |  Scottish Premier
Falkirk name May as new manager
23 Jun 09 |  Falkirk

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