Anthony Ralston and Celtic team-mates aiming for maiden win at Livingston

Celtic head to Livingston on Sunday aiming to break new ground – of Ange Postecoglou’s squad, only James McCarthy has ever experienced a win at the Tony Macaroni Arena, and never in the Scottish top flight.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou watched his side lose on his first trip to Livingston. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou watched his side lose on his first trip to Livingston. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The synthetic surface has proven a banana-skin that Celtic have slipped on through five previous trips to West Lothian – last winning there in 2007 – but despite growing up on plastic pitches, Anthony Ralston says he won’t be looking to the past when Celtic face David Martindale’s side aiming to redress the 1-0 defeat there in September.

“All my time coming up through the youth, I always trained on astro and we have the pitch up [at Lennoxtown] where I played youth games. I am no stranger to it, and sure it was the same for a lot of other boys coming up through the youth ranks. I think a lot of boys would prefer playing on grass but it is the situation we are in,” said Ralston. “Boys would rather play on grass than astro, that preference is not just with us, but across the range of teams. It is a different surface, not what you are used to, so you need to adapt to that.

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" We’ll be more than confident that comes Sunday we will adapt the way we need to adapt, not only in terms of the surface but with the different style of football Livingston bring. We will be ready for whatever comes our way.

Celtic's Anthony Ralston. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

He too has never won at Almondvale – whether in Celtic colours, on loan at Dundee United or St Johnstone. Neither have the Scottish-based players like David Turnbull or Greg Taylor from their past at Motherwell and Kilmarnock, or even captain Callum McGregor. Only James McCarthy, a peripheral figure this season, has won there – as a teenager in the second-tier with Hamilton, back in 2007, co-incidentally the same year Celtic last won there.

“It’s no secret that Livingston is a tough game,” added Ralston. “You obviously have the stats but it is important we put that behind us, we don’t focus on that, we focus on the upcoming game. We don’t focus on the past, we focus on ourselves and the football we want to play, and hope that will get the job done on the day.”

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