Rangers are best side in Championship, says Peter Houston

Prospective signing Anthony Stokes watches Hibs yesterday. Picture: SNS

Prospective signing Anthony Stokes watches Hibs yesterday. Picture: SNS

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Falkirk manager Peter Houston declared Rangers the best team in the Championship yesterday after the chances of his side and those of Hibernian were damaged by their 1-1 draw.

”The biggest winners out of this game are Rangers,” he said, “and they will be happiest with the result. If I’m being perfectly honest, we set out to be in the play-offs. It would be very difficult for a team like Falkirk to win this league. Rangers to me look just that wee bit ahead of the rest. I see them as the best team. I don’t mean any disrespect to Hibs at all. They’ve got a fantastic squad of very good players. But Rangers are that wee bit above.”

Meanwhile, Hibs boss Alan Stubbs hopes the loan deal to bring Celtic’s Anthony Stokes to Easter Road will be finalised today. “We should get it tied up in the morning. There’s just a bit of paperwork. I’ll be glad when it’s done,” he said.

Stubbs is also confident Hibs’ former captain Kevin Thomson will join from Dundee. “He’ll bring experience to the dressing room and probably incorporate that with some coaching of the younger players,” he said. The manager was “surprised” Stokes was available. Both he and Thomson were “winners”, he said, adding: “We have an excellent group now.”

Stubbs thought Hibs did enough, after falling behind, to win the game at Falkirk Stadium. And he reckoned his side should have had a penalty when John McGinn went down under a challenge. “It’s a stonewaller, whichever way you want to look at it. I’m very surprised it wasn’t given. Probably John has been penalised for being too honest. He should have rolled around.” Stubbs added: “Our standards are so high at the minute that we expect to win every game but you have to give Falkirk a bit of respect. Their results have been very good and this isn’t an easy place to come. We’re the only team that’s beaten them here. Yes, I’m disappointed not to get three points. But the point might prove a really good one come the end of the season.

“We’re right in the mix for promotion. We’re in the semi-finals of the League Cup and the fifth round of the Scottish Cup against our local rivals Hearts. Every game will be a big one and I expect us to be very, very strong.”

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