David Martindale noted Kilmarnock’s newly-acquired “money makers” as he prepares Livingston for the trip to Rugby Park on Wednesday night.
The struggling Lions have not won in 16 cinch Premiership games and are bottom of the table, six points behind Ross County having played two games more.
Having lost 3-0 against title-chasing Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday, another tough test is coming up against Derek McInnes’ fourth-placed Killie, whose squad was bolstered further by the recruitment of tried-and tested attackers Greg Stewart and Kevin van Veen during the January transfer window.
Martindale said: “Derek has done an incredible job and I always knew he would.
“This time last year he was in a slightly better position than we are now but he was moulding that Kilmarnock team and he now has his players in the building and those already there are more accustomed to Derek.
“The Old Firm have lost there and we have lost there this season so I am not under any illusions as to how hard this game is going to be to try and pick something up.
“Look at Derek’s signings in the January window, he has been very shrewd. He has added at the top end of the park, that is your money makers up there.
“They are the game changers, they can make the difference in the game and it is probably an area of the park where we have really struggled this year which is part of the reason we find ourselves where we are.
“But if you can bring in Kevin van Veen and Greg Stewart in the January window and you are already having a successful season it shows you – not just Derek’s intentions – it shows you Kilmarnock’s intentions.
“They have backed the manager and rightly so. They are chasing European football. They have real good options in the final third.
“We will tweak it going into this game. They are up there for a reason, we are down there for a reason but we will pose more of an attacking threat than setting up against Rangers, or against Celtic, away from home.
“We will try to go there with a balance of being defensively solid and being able to pose an attacking threat but it is a difficult balance.”
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