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Martindale says Livingston’s pitch played part in victory over Celtic

Livingston kept up their impressive home record against Celtic with a win on Sunday.

Martindale says Livingston’s pitch played part in victory over Celtic SNS Group

David Martindale believes that Livingston’s artificial pitch helped them get a win over Celtic by unsettling their international stars who have never played on a similar surface.

But, the Lions manager says if Postecoglou’s men didn’t know what to expect at the weekend, then they will “know all about it now.”

Livi claimed their first Premiership win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Celtic at the Toni Macaroni arena on Sunday that continued their long-unbeaten run against the Hoops in West Lothian.

A goal from Andrew Shinnie was enough to earn the three-points that took them from bottom up to ninth in the league.

And Martindale says the win will give his players a much needed self-confidence boost as they look to climb further up the table.

He said: “It’s a bit of self-belief for the boys, they haven’t been playing that bad so I think it was important to get a win under our belts as soon as possible but the longer it goes the harder that gets so it was pleasing to get the three points at home.

“It was pleasing again to do it against Celtic also, they are one of the top teams in the country and it is always pleasing when either of the Old Firm come and if you can get a result it gives you a bit of a lift.”

Celtic’s last win in Livingston was away back in 2006 and they have failed to win on their last five trips there since the Almondvale side gained promotion back to the top-flight in 2018.

Martindale said: “Looking back on it, I think it is five, over four seasons, obviously Covid cut one short and I think we missed two games that season.

“But, it is decent, five games and I think that is two wins and three draws so that is pretty impressive.”

Livingston are the only current Premiership team using an artificial pitch surface following the relegation of both Hamilton and Kilmarnock last season and the manager admitted that could have played a part in the win, particularly with Celtic’s summer signings experiencing it for the first time.

He said: “It was a totally different team coming here this time, Ange is just in the job, there is a lot of new players and I knew that there is an element that the park plays in that because a lot of the foreign boys are top internationalists coming into this country and they have not played on similar surfaces, so it will play a part in the mindset and that is why in the lead up to the game I made a point about the park, it was tongue in cheek, but I was hoping Celtic were reading it.

“But they will know all about it now.”

Up next for Martindale’s men is a trip to play Rangers at Ibrox in the League Cup quarter finals and, while he admits playing one of the big two in Glasgow is a different proposition to hosting them, he is hoping for another big result from his team.

He said: “It is a totally different game when you are on their home turf, when you go to Parkhead, when you go to Ibrox, it is totally different games from playing them here, but we can only go there and impose our game plan on it.”