David Martindale sets next Livingston challenge and insists Betfred Cup final defeat won't define season

David Martindale has stressed that losing the Betfred Cup final won’t define Livingston’s season as he challenged his side to aim for fourth spot in the league.

Livingston manager David Martindale tries to lift his players after the 1-0 defeat to St Johnstone in the Betfred Cup final. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The West Lothian side lost 1-0 to St Johnstone at Hampden Park with Shaun Rooney’s first half header proving the decisive goal. Martindale commended St Johnstone for restricting his side to so few chances. He rejected any suggestion that this could be further evidence of his side’s season fading away after such an impressive run since last November.

It is now three defeats in their last four outings for Livingston who had previously gone 14 matches unbeaten. They have not won since beating Aberdeen 2-0 at the start of last month but are still only eight points behind the Pittodrie side with two games in hand.

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“I’ll not let it affect the season,” said Martindale. “I will not let those boys dwell on this. I’m not going to dwell on it. It will not define my season.

“We’ve still a massive amount of football to play and a fantastic opportunity as a club to push for the top six and try for a European slot. It’s definitely not going to define my season and I can guarantee you I’ll not let it define the boys’ season.”

Martindale was blunt when asked whether he could take any positives from the experience.

“Honestly, no I don’t,” he said. “I don’t think there is anything to take from it. I don’t think anybody remembers who loses cup finals, so I am not going to dwell on it too much. But the boys have done great to get here and should take a lot of credit for getting the club to a cup final and that’s about the size of it. This could go one of two ways.

“We could finish in the top six or finish seventh or eighth, I won’t take anything from it until we get to the end of the season.”

Martindale offered encouragement to Jon Guthrie, who was supposed to be marking Rooney at the goal.

“Big Guthrie was on him and has been magnificent this year,” he said. “I said to him, ‘big man get your head up, how many games have your goals won us this year?’

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