Martindale: Keeping Livi in Prem would be my greatest achievement

Livingston have the chance to move off the bottom of the table when they play Ross County on Saturday.

David Martindale believes if he can keep Livingston in the Premiership this season then it will be the best achievement of his career.

The Almondvale side are currently rock bottom of the top-flight but have a chance to leapfrog Ross County into 11th this weekend.

Livi travel north to take on the Staggies on Saturday on the back of their first consecutive victories of the season and now know a two-goal victory in the Highlands will be enough to get them off the bottom.

County on the other hand haven’t won a game since December 5 and have conceded ten goals in their last three games, but they remain three points ahead of Martindale’s men and with a game in hand.

With games against fellow strugglers Motherwell and St Johnstone coming up after Saturday’s visit to Dingwall, the Livingston manager says it is the most “significant period” of his time at the club as he aims to take them up the table to safety.

And despite looking dead and buried a couple of weeks ago, he now insists he is not ready to settle for second bottom and has aspirations to overtake Stuart Kettlewell and Craig Levien’s sides as well.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, he said: “It’s probably the most significant period in my coaching career, if we keep Livingston in the Premiership this season then it will be my biggest achievement at the club.

“That includes winning League One, getting promoted from the Championship and getting to a cup final.

“That’s how relevant I find it, and again I’ll go back to it, I think I was very vocal at the start of the season, speaking about how big a season I felt it was going to be. Granted I didn’t think it would be that difficult but we are where we are so I think it would be a monumental achievement from the players and the staff at the club, everybody in a collective.

“No (I wouldn’t take 11th) I want tenth, I want ninth, I want to try and get as high as we can, so if you said to me we’d be bang on 11th right now then I wouldn’t be happy with that. I think we want to try and achieve tenth or better.

“It’s a big ask and we have a huge hill in front of us, but I think we have more than enough in the locker to overcome that.”

Ross County recently parted company with manager Derek Adams after a poor run of results with former player Don Cowie being brought in on an interim basis.

And Martindale believes such a change will likely have a positive impact on the squad.

He said: “Don was a top player in his day, he knows the club inside out, he’s probably gave them a wee bit of stability. Listen the comments I made at the Kilmarnock game with Derek, I put them into context the next day, they are our direct rivals.

“Would I rather my direct rivals were in a wee bit of turmoil? Of course I would. With Don taking over and Derek deciding to leave has that probably helped the environment? I’d imagine it has, it’s only natural that that would happen.

“You look at it, Derek had made some comments in the press leading up to it, the boys were unhappy, Derek was unhappy so it wasn’t a great environment but with Don now going in it’s probably more stability in terms of their environment.

“It doesn’t really change my approach whether it was Derek or Don in charge, If I’m being honest because I genuinely believe Derek’s CV is very good and he is a good manager. But I just think with Don coming in it’s probably helped that environment.”

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