It’s possible fifth place could land a spot in the new Europa Conference League if a top four team wins the Scottish Cup. Livingston currently occupy fifth place and could even challenge for fourth. They are now just six points behind manager-less Aberdeen after winning for the first time in seven games. They could now secure ample compensation for missing out on League Cup glory against St Johnstone last month by reaching Europe for only the second time in their history.
“That’s the objective,” said Martindale. “I spoke to them there. It is a challenge for every one of us, myself included, to ensure we do not finish any lower than fifth so that is going to be the objective going forward.
“I think the boys are more than capable of doing that. To be honest, I think against the so called bigger teams we seem to turn up and the style suits us. We are a team that is in transition, we are actually a very good footballing team and I think you will see that from us going forward. Even in the Rangers game, the bigger games, the boys rise to the occasion so I am just delighted we have finished in the top six. The next games we will be playing against the best teams in the country, it is fantastic.
“The cup final defeat had a wee knock-on effect on us, but we looked back to our best today,” he added. “As the game went on and we knew we were guaranteed top six we passed the ball about a bit. I think we could have scored a few more but the objective was top six and we have done that,
“It is a marathon not a sprint so we can forget about the last three or four games (when Livingston failed to win, including against St Johnstone at Hampden). Would we have taken this with five games still to go? Of course we would, I think this is an unbelievable effort from the club.”