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Livingston boss Martindale talks up a tight cinch Premiership season

Martindale believes everyone in the league can beat anyone else.

Livingston manager David Martindale talks up a tight cinch Premiership season SNS Group

David Martindale hailed the competitiveness of the cinch Premiership ahead of Livingston’s home game against Aberdeen on Tuesday night.

The Dons are third with 22 points, while eighth-placed Livi are only three points behind with two rounds of fixtures remaining before the break for the 2022 World Cup.

Lions boss Martindale, whose side go into the game on the back of a 3-2 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Friday night, believes the snakes and ladders aspect of the table is a huge positive of the top flight in Scotland.

He said: “It is testament to Scottish football. It shows you how competitive the league is.

“I keep hearing the league is not as competitive as it used to be, why have Livingston lost a game, why have Aberdeen lost a game, why have Dundee United lost a game?

“I keep hearing ‘why’ but surely that is down to the teams within that league, we are all capable of picking up points and beating each other.

“You only have to look at Rangers yesterday (lost 2-1 at St Johnstone) and us at Ibrox (1-1).

“Outwith Celtic, I don’t think anyone has a divine right to pick up three points this season.

“I’m not a betting man but if I was I would be struggling to pick who the top-six and bottom-six will be, but that is due to the competitive nature of the league which we should be marketing and talking about in a much more positive manner.

“Outwith Celtic, and maybe Rangers to a certain degree, any one of us can beat the other one on a given day.

“That is the competitive nature of the league and we should be applauding that and talking about the positives.

“It is definitely exciting for the neutral, not so much for myself, I would rather there was a bigger gap (behind Livi) if I am honest.

“But you are going into 95 per cent of league games, maybe a touch higher, in the belief that you can take three points and every manager will be the same.”

Bruce Anderson made his first league start of the season against Killie and celebrated it with a goal from a long-distance strike and he is looking to kick on.

The former Aberdeen attacker said: “It meant a lot. I have had a frustrating start to the season.

“That comes from last season as well with my injuries, getting fit and getting another knock.

“So to come into the team and have an impact like that, I was delighted and hopefully I can carry it on.

“You see the strength in the squad, the boys know that they need to perform and that can only be helpful.”

Martindale offered his encouragement, saying: “I have a huge amount of time for Brucie. He missed a good bit of the start of the season.

“I have had a lot of chats with him and I do a lot of finishing drills with him. I put a lot of effort into him because I know what potential is there.

“If he can give me what he gave me on Friday night he will not come out my team.

“I think there is a lot of potential but we have to work on getting consistency.

“But he has made it his position to lose and he knows what he has to do to stay in the team.”