Livingston captain Mikey Devlin says it’s not time to panic about the team’s position in the league, and that the experience and quality is there to turn things around.
Having played 12 league games this season, the Almondvale club sit second-bottom of the Premiership, two points ahead of St Johnstone, who have a game in hand.
The team play host to Rangers on Sunday on a run that has seen them win just one of their last ten games, and on the back of four consecutive defeats.
Devlin acknowledges the poor form but has belief that things will improve.
“I think everyone understands that we’re not in a good place in terms of results right now,” he said.
“However, the positive is that the league is that tight right now that it doesn’t take a dramatic run of form to put you back in a strong position within the league again. So I think that you’re always within touching distance of climbing back up the league.
“It’s still a bit early to be worried about the league. I think we need to worry about ourselves and worry about the level of performance, and with performance comes results.
“Monday to Friday we’ve got an opportunity to work on things that haven’t been going so well and aspects of the performance that we need to improve.
“I think if you focus on the process, that effectively increases your chances of winning the game and ultimately results will come.”
The defender has faith in David Martindale’s ability as a manager, saying that he has only known relative success so far and is well aware of what’s needed. And Devlin says that the dressing room has the right blend of characters, with the experience to know not to overreact to a bad run.
“It’s not a time to panic,” he said. “If anything, the expectation isn’t necessarily about thinking about sitting at the top end of the league, it’s about managing the emotions through a period of difficulty and knowing what you need to do to turn it around.
“For us it’s about trusting the process. We know what’s expected of us as Livingston players and what’s expected from us from the manager.
“It’s up to us to take responsibility for that when we go on the pitch and to do better than we have been.
“I think there were improvements that we made to the performance on Sunday against Dundee, and we didn’t get the result but if we keep doing that then we won’t be too far away.”
While all eyes tend to look to the club captain for leadership at times of adversity, Devlin feels that the squad is rich with players who can set the right tone and attitude, and crucially has players who will depend on each other when they have to as the team works to win.
He added: “There’s Jason Holt, Andrew Shinnie, big Ayo Obileye, who is unfortunately missing just now, Sean Kelly. There’s leadership right through this team.
“It’s not always in the mould you might associate with being a leader, you can lead by example. Big Joel Nouble would do, as would different boys.
“We feel that we’ve got strong characters and leaders in the group within their own way, not just myself as captain.
“We look at each other and lean on each other during games and we need to, to dig ourselves out of a difficult moment.
“But we feel we’ve got the players and the quality to get us to where we need to be.”
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