Ray McKinnon: Falkirk takeover talk won’t distract us

Ray McKinnon has insisted his Falkirk side are totally focused on Saturday’s League One curtain raiser against Peterhead – despite a potential takeover of the club in the background.
Falkirk boss Ray McKinnon (picture: Michael Gillen)Falkirk boss Ray McKinnon (picture: Michael Gillen)
Falkirk boss Ray McKinnon (picture: Michael Gillen)

News broke this week of English businessman Mark Campbell being named as the preferred bidder of the Bairns after his proposal was unanimously accepted by the board and major shareholders.

Campbell plans include an initial seven-figure investment into the club, reinstating the youth academy and building a fourth stand, but McKinnon stressed the only matter he is concerned with is ensuring his team are ready for the challenge of the Blue Toon at Balmoor.

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McKinnon, who has had a brief chat with Campbell and the man he wants to bring in as the club’s football director John Park, said: “Nothing has changed for me. We just want to make sure we’re ready going into the game on Saturday. We’ve been doing that for weeks, it has all been a build up to this point.

“We spoke very briefly on Monday. We never got a chance to speak football just a case of introducing himself and we had a good 15-minute chat and that was about it.

“There’s no distraction for me, we’re just working extremely hard and it’s all about Saturday.”

Falkirk are notorious slow starters, having not won an opening game of a campaign since beating Gretna 4-0 in 2007, and they will have their work cut out up at Balmoor.

The Bairns are looking for an immediate return to the Championship after last season’s relegation and McKinnon said, while the expectation is to win the league, there will be no easy games.

Peterhead beat Falkirk 5-3 in the League Cup four years ago with Rory McAllister – sidelined for this game – scoring all five.

McKinnon said: “It’s a tough league but we will try and meet those expectations.

“They will be fit, they have done pre-season. Jimmy has always got a solid squad, they are well backed and they’ve got good players.

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“Rory McAllister is out but they have Derek Lyle and two or three strikers.

“I think Falkirk know that from a few years back. We won’t be taking anything for granted and that was just a reminder of how tough it is.”

Conor Sammon is fit to return for the clash, Ross MacLean remains out.