Livingston manager David Martindale explains why his high demands are reasonable as his side achieve their goal

Livingston manager David Martindale made no apology for the high demands he has made of last season’s League Cup finalists.

Looking to repeat that run deep into the latter rounds of this term’s competition, he knows his men made heavy weather of it over their opening four games. In the end, they slipped through on goal difference and will progress as one of the unseeded sides but with covid cases forcing a number of his players to self-isolate and others to return to the fray in far-from-peak condition, he believes there is room for improvement.

“We got there in the end, it’s not how you get there, so they saw, although I’m not sure I agree with that. It feels like a wee bit of a hollow victory.

“Although we gave away a bad goal, we scored three fantastic goals and probably should have had another two or three and we are through to the next round and that’s all I could really ask going into today’s game.”

Cowdenbeath's Liam Buchanan fires in the opener to give Livingston a fright in their League Cup match. Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group

A 21st minute own goal allowed them to cancel out Liam Buchanan’s opener for Cowdenbeath and then Bruce Anderson moved them into the lead before the break. A delightful Craig Sibbald goal in the 53rd minute completed the scoring and ensured their goal difference would be good enough.

“Am I putting too much expectation on the players? I don’t think so,” added the Livingston boss. “I think we could have done better in most games and we would not have been in this position but the cherry on the cake is that we’re through to the next round.

“We’re not seeded but you have to beat the best teams in the cup to get to the final and we will just have to do that again.

“Previously I wanted to win the section and wanted to go in there seeded but we’ve got to be pleased as we’ve completed the objective. It wasn’t not always in our own hands but we have to be pleased.

Looking back, I think Covid has played its part, I had players on the park, in Craig Sibblad and Jason Holt, and I could see them tire extremely in the later stages of the game.”

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