Livingston defender Declan Gallagher insists off-form Livingston will be fired up to bounce back from last weekend’s shock Scottish Cup third-round defeat at Annan.
The Lions, a point off the bottom of the Championship, were humbled 3-2 by the League Two side, meaning they have lost six of their last nine games in all competitions.
However, Gallagher, back in the match-day squad as an unused substitute last weekend after missing his side’s last ten matches with a knee injury, is confident his team can get back on track at Alloa tomorrow after a run in which they have taken just two points from their last six games.
“Every team goes through a rough patch, no matter how good you are,” said Gallagher, who last featured against Dumbarton at the end of August. “When I got injured, the guys beat Peterhead [Petrofac Training Cup] and Alloa in the league but have then gone through a bit of a sticky patch.
“We’ve watched the video back from last weekend. We were on top of them for the first 20 minutes or so and had a few good chances which we probably should have taken to kill the game off but that’s what can happen in football.
“To be fair when they went 2-1 up it kind of killed our momentum so it was a horrible game and the boys know that themselves. It shouldn’t have happened with the way we had started. But we’ll be all the stronger for it and we’ll come out fighting. We obviously need to start picking up points again so we know basically every game is a cup final for us so we need to be right at it.”
The proverbial “cup final” tag can certainly be attributed to Livi’s next three fixtures in the Championship, with tomorrow’s clash at Alloa followed by a home encounter with Dumbarton next weekend and then a trip to Fife to tackle Cowdenbeath on November 22.
The 23-year-old defender accepts these forthcoming matches could go a long way to determining the club’s outlook for the rest of the season.
“We know that these sides are sitting around about us,” he said. “But we’re just taking each game as it comes, starting with Alloa tomorrow.
“But these games are really important for ourselves and we’ll be looking to take as many points as we can. There isn’t much between the sides that are above us either.”
The former Dundee player is hoping he has played himself into contention for tomorrow’s encounter in Clackmannanshire after playing 60 minutes in an under-20s match with Falkirk on Tuesday afternoon.
With club captain Simon Mensing restored to the heart of the Livi defence last weekend after recovering from cruciate ligament damage, Gallagher appreciates he may have to bide his time a tad longer before being stripped and picked for first-team action.
Recalling the unfortunate injury to his knee he sustained in his own home, Gallagher said: “It was a complete freak accident. I was rushing about one Thursday morning and I slipped down the stairs. To be honest I didn’t think it was going to be as serious as what it turned out to be.
“I got to training that day and my knee started to feel worse and worse where I couldn’t actually move properly. The club then got a scan arranged and it turned out I had a severe tear in my medial knee ligament in my right knee.
“I’m still doing my exercises to strengthen my knee up. I wasn’t quite 100 per cent down at Annan but the gaffer obviously wanted me to get back involved in the squad so it was good of him to do that. The boys were saying a few things to me and taking the mick but I think anybody that falls down the stairs is going to take a wee bit slagging.
“But my main concern has been to make sure I get back fit and playing again. I got 60 minutes under my belt the other day against Falkirk. It was meant to be only 45 but they thought I was looking good so they gave me an hour and my knee felt really good.
“It was just to get some game-time so there wasn’t much in it with a lot of the younger ones playing.
“I’m back in training now so I am available for selection but I don’t know what the gaffer’s plans are if I am going to be in team tomorrow or not so I’ll just have to wait and see. He [John McGlynn] may want to go with the same team that he’s been going with the last few weeks.”