Stubbs: Big two will fight for title – not Bairns

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ALAN STUBBS has insisted Falkirk won’t be “a million miles away” at the end of the season, but the Easter Road boss still believes the Championship title will be between Hibs and Rangers.

The Bairns arrive in Edinburgh today six points behind the Capital club, who themselves trail leaders Rangers by three points, with Peter Houston’s side intent on ending Hibs’ 15-match unbeaten run.

While the focus has been very much on the fight between Hibs and Rangers, Falkirk’s own run of just one defeat in seven league games – at home to Stubbs’ side – has gone almost unnoticed, but not by the former Celtic and Everton defender,

He said: “Falkirk have done great. I’ve been aware of them and exactly what they have been doing. Everybody has spoken about ourselves and Rangers. But, just like everybody was speaking about Rangers in the first six weeks, two months of the season, we just went along and before you knew it we were there. Falkirk have done the same thing.

“They are right there and deserve a lot of credit for that. Falkirk are a big club, one of those who you could say could go up and compete at that top level. It would have been disappointing for them not to be in the play-offs last season. They have a big squad, a lot of experience and some very good players.

“We are going to need to be as good as we have been all season to get a result today.”

While there have been regular spats between Stubbs and his Ibrox counterpart Mark Warburton, the latest only this week, Houston has kept his own counsel, prompting the Hibs head coach to say: “I’d be exactly the same if I was in Peter’s shoes.

“However, you have to be realistic. Over the course of the season, I think it will be us and Rangers at the end. I don’t think I am saying anything wrong in that. I think our squad will provide that strength in depth as the season goes on.

“But I don’t think Falkirk will be a million miles away. It’s whether they can keep hold of their good players as well.”