David Martindale desperate for chance to lead promotion push with Livingston

Livingston's fate was sealed in a 4-1 defeat at Motherwell.

David Martindale desperate for chance to lead promotion push with Livingston SNS Group

David Martindale is a football pragmatist but hopes to get the chance to bring relegated Livingston back to the cinch Premiership next season.

After six years in the top flight, the Lions will play Championship football when they return after the summer, with a 4-1 defeat at Motherwell leaving them 10 points behind second-bottom St Johnstone with only three fixtures remaining.

The Livi boss admits the drop from the top flight had been “on the horizon” this year and he has to “accept a massive amount of responsibility” for the club’s plight – but he nevertheless wants the opportunity to return next season.

Martindale said: “We got relegated mathematically today but deep down, if we are being honest, the writing’s been on the wall since the turn of the year.

“The January transfer window was very difficult when it came to persuading players to sign for us, because of the relegation battle.

“I am not going to wallow in the negatives. Life is not about how many times you get put down, life is about how many times you jump up and react.

“It is a punch that has floored us but I have aspirations, I want to take this club back to the Premiership and hopefully I am allowed to do that.

“We can talk about that now that we know we will be in the Championship next season.

“I would like to hope I will get the chance but in football, nothing surprises me. You have to be pragmatic.

“I have been at the club 10 years. We have had two relegations in 10 years.

“We have been promoted twice, got two top-six finishes, got to a cup final, (just) missed out on top six twice, stayed in the Premiership for six years, the longest time in the club’s history.

“I think that shows for myself, the staff, former staff, players, how successful we have been as a group.

“I think it is important that in times of adversity and a negative period that you remain pragmatic and you are a realist.

“This club has had a huge amount of success so I would hope to be allowed that opportunity but it is football and nothing surprises me.”

Well striker Theo Bair netted a penalty in the 21st minute following a VAR intervention which flagged a Mikey Devlin handball inside the box and attacker Sam Nicholson drove in a sensational second just before the break.

Bair scored his 15th goal of the season in the 68th minute with a header before Dan Casey knocked in a fourth in the 74th minute, with Livi substitute Joel Nouble heading in a consolation two minutes later.

Ross County beat Hibernian 2-1 to increase the gap over Livingston to 12 points while St Johnstone dropped into the relegation play-off spot with a 1-0 defeat at Aberdeen.

Well boss Stuart Kettlewell was pleased with the way his side went about their business.

He said: “I thought we deserved to win the game, plain and simple.

“Livingston scored with their one shot on target, so it’s evident how you feel the outcome might go.

“But this league has a habit of stinging you in that sense.

“It was a big game for us, a big game for them, so to come out of it on the right side with four goals is always a good thing.”

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