David Martindale disappointed as Livingston supporters boo Joel Nouble

The Livingston boss wants fans to support the team.

David Martindale disappointed as several Livingston supporters boo Joel Nouble SNS Group

David Martindale expressed disappointment that a section of Livingston supporters turned on striker Joel Nouble during Wednesday’s goalless draw with St Johnstone.

The 27-year-old forward has not scored since August and, on a night when he was deployed at wing-back, he was booed by some Lions fans before being sarcastically cheered off when he was substituted in the 80th minute.

“It’s a part of the game I don’t like,” manager Martindale said. “As a club we’re slightly different, we’ve not got a huge amount of fans and we’re big on the community and family aspect, so when it happens here it feels a bit more personal.

“There’s no doubt Joel’s form needs to improve, but I think in being a supporter, I would rather support the player than boo the player. That’s just my opinion.

“I’m not trying to tell the fans what to do. If that’s the way they feel and the way they want to express their emotions, so be it.

“I just know if I was a fan I’d want to try and help the player. But it’s modern-day society.”

Livingston are four points adrift at the foot of the cinch Premiership after failing to win any of their last 11 games and Martindale is adamant nobody should carry the can alone for that run of form.

“It’s not the first time and it probably won’t be the last,” he said of the Nouble criticism. “It happened a good bit last year with Nicky Devlin when he signed his pre-contract (with Aberdeen).

“It’s disappointing. I understand the frustrations but booing him is not going to make the situation any better. There’s no way Joel goes on the park not wanting to have a good game.

“There’s no doubt that his form is a bit off where it was last year but for me he’s still doing enough and contributing to the group. Everyone expects the Joel Nouble of last season to turn up but it doesn’t always happen.

“I could probably go through every one of our (individual) performances, including myself, and every one of our performances is below the standard of last year.

“We’re bottom of the league for a reason. It doesn’t fall on one isolated player. I think it’s a minority that are booing but unfortunately in modern society the minority are the ones that are the loudest.”

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