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Houston backs proposed play-off plans

By May 26, 2016No Comments

By Craig Turnbull

Falkirk boss Peter Houston has backed plans by the SPFL to have a one-legged play-off final showdown to decide promotion as he believes it would be fairer.

Houston’s men missed out on promotion after a 4-1 aggregate defeat to Kilmarnock in the Premiership play-off final despite winning the first leg 1-0.

A working group set up by the SPFL is looking at bringing the play-offs more in line with the Premier League in England where they have a Wembley showdown to decide who goes up.

As it stands both the semi-finals and final are two-legged affairs in Scotland but Houston, who won the Ladbrokes Scottish Championship manager of the year, believes it would be fairer if they were just one-off ties.

“I agree a hundred per cent. I’d advocate third and fourth playing a one-off game as well and second versus the third or fourth too,” he told PLZ Soccer.

“If you finished third or fourth you would have three games to play rather than six.

“I think that would help the clubs our size in the Championship and I think it would make it fairer.

“One-off Cup finals are exciting I watched the Scottish Cup final on Saturday, it swung to and fro both ways – Hibs winning first then Rangers coming back to lead and Hibs winning in the end.

“It was great excitement, great for the fans. We’ve seen semi-finals being played to penalty kick situations as well I think a one-off situation would be much better than the two legged ties.”

Houston, who is looking to strengthen his squad by targeting a goalkeeper and defenders this summer, confirmed Blair Alston has joined St Johnstone but he concedes Alston might have stayed with the Bairns had they secured promotion.

“Blair and I have been very open with each other since January. He wanted to keep his options open, he wants to play at a higher level and every player should.

“He might have well have stayed if we’d got to the Premiership.

“Now he’s given himself the opportunity to go to St Johnstone and play in the Premiership and I cannot fault him for that because he put his foot to the floor he scored 11, 12 goals for Falkirk this season.

“He’s been a credit to the club through the years, he’s always worked hard and played well and he deserves an opportunity, so as much I would like to have kept him I understand why he’s left.”

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