Livingston captain Liam Fox and their former director of football, John Collins, have both strenuously denied reports that a dressing-room revolt led to first-team coach Gareth Evans losing his job last Thursday.
Evans was told by chairman Gordon McDougall and chief executive Ged Nixon that his services were no longer required and Collins resigned his post in anger at the decision. The mood in West Lothian brightened with a 4-1 win over Airdrie on Saturday, however it darkened again when reports emerged yesterday suggesting the players were against Evans’ training methods. Fox said: “There has been no player revolt and there has been no delegation against Gareth. He was a popular figure here because he was honest with the players and worked hard at his job.
“His training sessions were well thought out and planned in advance so we do not know where this story has come from. We actually had more physically demanding sessions and saw less of the ball under previous managers so why would we start complaining now?”
The 29-year-old, who has been through plenty of choppy waters with Livingston during his six-and-a-half years at the club said: “I have seen a lot at Livingston and as captain I would be the first to know if anyone was unhappy with the training or the head coach. There was no negativity towards Gareth at all.We are angry about how we have been portrayed and my phone has been red hot about it from the other players. We are not privy to discussions that go on in boardrooms as directors run the club and we just come in and work but we have to put the record straight.”
Collins said: “It was my job to put managers in place at Livingston and I did that with John Hughes and Gareth. Both of them moved the club forward. Gareth did not deserve the sack and did not deserve what was written about him.”
An Anthony Andreu double and goals from Iain Russell and Stefan Scougall gave Livingston victory, with John Boyle netting for Airdrie, who had Sean Lynch sent off. A hat-trick from Steven Craig and a goal from Ross Forbes helped title-chasing Partick Thistle to a 4-0 win at beleaguered Dunfermline. The victory lifted the Jags within two points of leaders Morton with a game in hand.
The Pars’ financial troubles may have led to players being paid reduced amounts and threatening to go on strike, but manager Jim Jefferies was unhappy with their efforts. “I feel let down,” he said. “It was like some of them just pulled on the jersey. We showed an unacceptable lack of passion in the first half. I feel sorry for the players but football should be their respite.”
Craig Moore scored a late equaliser as Cowdenbeath earned a 2-2 draw at relegation rivals Dumbarton. The Fifers led early through Jamie Stevenson, butgoals from Bryan Prunty and Scott Agnew had turned things around.