NEW Falkirk head coach Peter Houston admits he has given up the good life at Celtic to return to the dugout with the Scottish Championship outfit.
The 55-year-old walked away from his last job at Dundee United 18 months ago following a pay dispute.
Despite being linked with several posts, he only returned to paid employment late last year when Neil Lennon handed him a scouting post at Parkhead.
Houston, who led United to the 2010 Scottish Cup, admits he was happy travelling the world sniffing out fresh talent for Celtic – until former club Falkirk came calling.
The former Bairn – who made over 200 appearances for the club as a player – said: “The sleepless nights are back. I did have a comfortable job at Celtic. I was there for about eight months and have gone to about 13 countries to watch players. I enjoyed it. But the lure of management has brought me back.
“The fact I had so many happy times here helped too. If it had been some other club I would have had doubts about changing job again. But it is still in the blood to be out there coaching. I have missed the day-to-day part of the job. Where better to get that than back here at Falkirk.”
Falkirk director Ronnie Bateman told Houston at the press conference called to mark his unveiling that he was expected to mount a Premiership promotion push following this year’s play-off semi-final defeat to Hamilton. But with Rangers, Hibs and Hearts now to contend with, Houston insists no-one at Falkirk should be offended if they are not tipped to challenge for the second-tier title.
“No, we shouldn’t feel slighted if people aren’t talking about us as challengers, just because of the facilities, the much larger support and the money these clubs have to pay players,” said the new boss. “These clubs should be regarded as the favourites but we can tuck ourselves in there and make a challenge.
“However, everyone is talking about the three big teams but the games against the likes of Dumbarton, Livingston and Raith Rovers will be every bit a hard. It will be easy motivating the guys to play Rangers, Hearts or Hibs but it is my job they are up for it too when we go to Cowdenbeath on a wet, dreich Wednesday night.”