Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon has held clear-the-air talks with his side after they slipped to an agonising late defeat against Airdrie on Saturday to fall to fourth in the League One table.
The Bairns were top of the pile at the start of play on Saturday but Calum Gallagher’s injury-time strike snatched three points away as the pre-season favourite’s go through a run of poor home form with back-to-back defeats hindering their title push.
McKinnon was not happy when he spoke to Not The Old Firm shortly after full-time on Saturday and seemed in a much more bullish mood ahead of this weekend’s trip to face Dumbarton, insisting his side “need to deliver” if they are to get back to the Championship at the first attempt.
“It’s not what we expect, we expect better, and we’re not hiding from it,” McKinnon admitted.
“We had a meeting between the players and myself on Monday and we spoke about the game, performance levels, what is required in this league and the demands that are on us from both club and the fans. Everyone to a man, including myself, said we have to be better.
“The good thing is that it’s out in the open now we’ve spoke about it. There’s accountability in every walk of life and I’m responsible for the team that goes out on that park. I accept that. But the players are accountable for how they perform and I think they’ve accepted that as well.
“Hopefully, this meeting can be a real turning point in the season for us. We’re two points off top of the league and it is only November. We probably should have won this game and probably should won the Clyde game but ‘should have’ and ‘could have’ is not enough. We need to deliver.”
The trip to face Jim Duffy’s Dumbarton will provide a tough test for the Bairns but if results go their way they could well find themselves back at the summit of League One come 6 pm on Saturday.
With an incredibly tight top-half of the table, anyone who can put together a run of wins will put themselves in a fantastic position to secure the title and automatic promotion to the Championship.
McKinnon’s side clearly have the quality to do so but with their home form best described as patchy, the Bairns need to roll their sleeves up and win ‘ugly’ at times rather than trying to be too clever.