Livingston boss David Martindale has urged his players to put past results behind them and concentrate on how they can improve their standing, saying his own life experience has taught him to focus on the future.
The Almondvale club sit bottom of the Premiership table after a difficult start to the season that’s seen them win only two of their 14 league games so far this season.
Martindale believes he and his players have to ignore other teams’ results, such as Ross County’s win over St Mirren that pulled them four points clear of Livingston, and look from one game to the next as they strive to improve their position.
The 49-year-old served four years in prison from 2006 after being convicted of drug dealing and money laundering, and said that the philosophy that helped him turn his life around is applicable to the challenge facing his players.
“We’re not in a great place, we haven’t won enough games of football,” Martindale said. “So sitting there dwelling on the past isn’t going to help your energy and focus for the future.
“That’s the message I’m trying to communicate to the players.
“I’ll be honest, I’ve probably been living my life like that since [being arrested in] 2004. I get up and I affect what I can affect in front of me.
“If I was to sit and reminisce on the past and the decisions and circumstances that I created myself, I don’t think I would be sitting here today.
“When you first get your sentence and you go into prison, it’s not like on television. You don’t put 1,500 days on the wall and then you wake up and it’s 1,499 the next day. You would be in a mental institution if you approached a sentence like that.
“You get up, you deal with the day in front of you, then you go to your bed. You don’t focus on the past that you can’t affect. You accept it and move on.
“So it’s about trying to explain that to the players.”
Martindale is confident that his players have the right mentality to get positive results and climb off the foot of the table, starting with the home match against Ross County on Saturday. And he has taken pride in the fact that they have maintained their efforts even when out of form.
“I think we’ve got enough in the building, with experience and good players who all care,” he said. “They’re frustrated and disappointed and the one thing you could say about this Livingston team is that they will never, ever down tools.
“Every game this season you can see that.
“We’ve made individual errors and collective errors but you could never look at them and say they’re not trying.
“For me, that’s what we’re all about.”
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