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Houston targets supply lines in an effort to starve Rangers strikers

Peter Houston witnessed a previous master plan being ripped to shreds when Kris Boyd scored five times against his Dundee United team, but the Falkirk manager hopes that his new side can follow through and keep the Rangers striker quiet for another week.

Peter Houston worked with Boyd and Miller as Scotland assistant. Picture: SNS
Peter Houston worked with Boyd and Miller as Scotland assistant. Picture: SNS

The attacking prowess of Boyd and Kenny Miller is widely expected to shoot Rangers to promotion to the SPFL Premiership this season, albeit the pair have got off to a slow start in the opening competitive matches against title rivals Hibernian and Hearts. Houston knows the strikers well from his time as Scotland assistant and hopes that his inside knowledge can help Falkirk to frustrate the Ibrox side when they meet tonight.

However, the 56-year-old also knows from bitter experience that both Boyd and Miller have the ability to make a mockery of even the most meticulous preparations, as Boyd did in December 2009 when Rangers hammered United 7-1 at Ibrox. The Scotland striker scored five of the goals, including three in 10 minutes in the first half, with Miller sent off before Boyd completed his haul.

"They are two quality players," said the Falkirk manager. "Let me tell you, they're still quality players and I've watched them closely in the last two games, especially the strikers. I know them from working with them in the Scotland squad.

"Kris Boyd scored five goals against my team one time. He used to score against Dundee United all the time, no matter what we tried to do. What Kenny Miller has said is they are not getting the supply yet. Hopefully we can continue to stop that supply to them.

"We'll defend from the front but I've made our defenders aware that we can't allow them space, because Boydy is a brilliant finisher. Although people say he's not the quickest, he can take a ball in the box and make a quick turn. Once he gets his shot off, inevitably it hits the target.

"And I watched Kenny Miller the other day against Hearts and he was working his socks off - going back into the middle of the park, chasing out to the wing, putting tackles in. These two guys are quality, absolute quality. Forget about their ages, they will still score goals in this division. I just hope it's not going to be on Friday night."

Houston has acknowledged that pressure tonight will be on Rangers to perform and he has observed first-hand just how adept the side can be at coping with expectation. "One of my first games [as a player] for Falkirk was against Rangers when big John Greig was the manager and was under pressure.

"We actually went into the game as favourites because Rangers had lost a few and people were wanting big Greigy out as manager. They came and beat us, 2-0. They were up for it."

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