FALKIRK MANAGER John Hughes used to torment the life out of Dundee United striker Collin Samuel.
However, the Trinidad and Tobago internationalist hopes to turn the tables on Hughes today and, at the same time, silence the boo boys he expects will be on his back as he faces his former club.
“John Hughes was very much involved in the playing side when I arrived at Falkirk and he was something out of this world,” said Samuel.
“When I first came to club he really used to get on my nerves.
“He was forever on my case and trying to wind me up.
“But I came to realise that is how he is and some of the stuff was amusing.
“It is going to be quite an afternoon for myself, Lee Miller and Mark Kerr, with our being ex-Falkirk players.
“I know we are going to get a lot of stick down there but I am pleased to see Falkirk in the SPL.
“The year I played for the club we weren’t allowed to come up. So it’s good to see them in the Premier-League and doing pretty well.”
Samuel’s talent at long last appears to be blossoming at Tannadice and he acknowledged that boss Gordon Chisholm’s highlighting of his previous shortcomings was on the mark, if a little embarrassing.
“Things are going the way I want now and I just hope I can continue to put my best foot forward,” he said.
“I was a bit annoyed when I read that article saying I had been like Forrest Gump before.
“But at the same time I found it quite funny and I could see what he meant.”
Samuel is presently awaiting word
on whether he is going to be called up for Trinidad and Tobago’s World Cup qualification play-off with Bahrain next month.
“The squad should be announced about two weeks before the first game,” he added.
“I am hopeful I will be in it as I only missed the last match because of injury.
“I am desperate to be included because the play-offs are going to be something else.
“I don’t know much about Bahrain but the fact it is a hot country will suit us.
“And I also think the way the games are working out is to our advantage.
“Bahrain face a long journey to our country for the first game then have the same amount of travelling to undertake as ourselves to play the return.
“Hopefully, they will be disadvantaged by that.”
Meanwhile, Hughes has told anyone who doubts the Bairns’ ability to stay in the SPL there is no place for them at the Falkirk Stadium.
“I don’t like negative people,” he said. “I don’t like sitting next to them, I don’t like being associated with them and I don’t want them at my club.
“They suck the energy right out of you.
“This job’s hard enough.
“I want positive people, people with a spring in their step, a smile on their face, want to play football, want to educate themselves.
“I can’t have big egos.
“You have your morals in life and you take those on to the pitch.
“That’s how you play your football and, if you have everyone on the same page, I don’t think you’ll be far away.”
Falkirk will be without captain Craig Ireland, who is suspended after his dismissal in the 1-0 win at Dunfermline last weekend.
Midfielder Jack Ross is still a couple of weeks away from a return after a knee operation and goalkeeper Allan Ferguson has had a slight relapse of his achilles injury.
However, striker Daniel McBreen could play after a back strain.
The Tangerines have no fresh injury problems and manager Chisholm said, “I am delighted that we have a clean bill of health, apart from long-term absentee Lee Mair.
“That gives me one or two options.
“Falkirk are a good passing team and have a threat in wee Russell Latapy, who likes to stay in the middle of the park and dictate the play.
“But we are capable of going there and winning the game.
“We have shown good character of late and I am asking the players for the same again.
“There will be a big crowd and this will be a really attractive game for the fans.”
There will be around 200 tickets for United supporters on sale at the Falkirk Stadium until kick-off, as well as a number at the Tangerines’ club shop from 9 am onwards.