David Martindale braced for ‘huge’ summer overhaul at Livingston

The Lions are currently 12 points adrift at the foot of the Premiership with five games to play.

David Martindale is braced for a “huge” summer overhaul as he bids to get floundering Livingston back on track for next season.

The Lions are currently 12 points adrift at the foot of the Premiership with five games to play and will be officially relegated to the Championship if they lose at home to second-bottom Ross County on Saturday.

Martindale feels the end of this demoralising campaign represents an opportunity for a “reset” at the West Lothian club.

“Right now, there are probably 14, 15 players who are not going to be here next year through being out of contract and maybe through choice also,” said the Livi boss on Wednesday.

“I believe I’ve got a really strong group of 12 or 13 (who will remain) and we need to build on that.

“I think it’s probably time that as a group we need to reset and look at whatever next season brings to us. There’s a lot of players out of contract, probably more so than other years.

“We would probably have had a better chance of keeping some players if we had secured Premiership survival so there’s been a lot of spinning plates.

“There’s going to be a huge overall overhaul in the summer. I’m disappointed to lose some but I’m really pleased with the boys that are under contract and are going to be here next season.”

With no game last weekend due to the Scottish Cup semi-finals, the beleaguered Livingston squad were given last week off to try and rouse themselves mentally and physically for their five post-split fixtures.

“We gave the boys the week off,” said Martindale. “Training numbers have been really low. We were already really depleted going into the Hearts game and we came out of that having lost another two players.

“It was more about giving the players and the staff a wee bit of time off. We shut the club down basically and gave everybody a bit of a reset because it’s been a challenging season.

“It was about trying to take a bit of pressure off the players and the staff because it’s a difficult environment when you’re losing games so you have to look at the psychology and mental health side of it as well and give people a bit of a break.

“It wasn’t so much about this game being against Ross County because we’d planned this before the post-split fixtures were announced.

“I just felt everybody needed a bit of a break to spend some time with the family, go on holiday or do whatever they wanted to do as an individual to get back into the club ready for the last five games.”

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