Livingston v Alloa: Burchill not fazed by home run

Mark Burchill says his Livingston team aren't playing like a side bottom of the league. Pic: Robert Perry
Mark Burchill says his Livingston team aren't playing like a side bottom of the league. Pic: Robert Perry
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Livingston will tonight attempt to climb off the foot of the Championship for the first time in almost three months when they entertain fellow strugglers Alloa.

Just three points separate the sides ahead of this evening’s clash at the Energy Assets Arena, where victory for Mark Burchill’s men would lift the club into ninth at the expense of their opponents on goal difference.

The Lions, however, have not won at home in the league since September, when the visitors that day were none other than tonight’s opponents from Clackmannanshire as Jordan White netted a hat-trick in a 4-0 victory.

Eight attempts to find another win at home have been and gone, with Livi’s only two victories since then having come away from West Lothian, two 5-1 routs of Raith Rovers and Dumbarton.

However, Burchill is adamant he doesn’t care where his players pick up the points, be it at home or on the road.

“It doesn’t matter if we’re playing at home or away,” he stressed. “We’re playing against Alloa and they are the team directly above us. You don’t need to be a genius to see that if we win the game then we go above them. My team don’t play differently home or away as we try to play attacking football.

“We’re only at the bottom of the league because of the five-point deduction from something that happened a few years ago. We’re not playing like a team at the bottom of the league as we’re playing with a lot of confidence and are 
expressing ourselves. I believe as a squad we are far too good to be where we are.”

Burchill was in the stand at Recreation Park on Saturday as league leaders Hearts swept aside Barry Smith’s men 4-1, a favourable outcome from a Livi perspective. But Burchill says he has no interest what goes on elsewhere and remains solely committed to the job he has on his hands in trying to keep the Lions in the Championship.

“I’m not really bothered about any of the other results to be honest,” he pointed out. “I’m just concentrating on Livingston and trying to get them to perform on the pitch. I’m delighted with the direction we are going in, but I was disappointed we never had a game on Saturday after our good result last weekend.

“I was at the game on Saturday and Hearts are a very good team, but goals change games. Stephen Simmons hit the post early on which could have made it 1-1 so it could have been very different. Then Alloa lost a third goal soon after they had scored to make it 2-1 so if they had stayed in the game a bit longer then who knows. Alloa will be a difficult prospect for us tonight, but I’ve watched them a lot so I know them inside out. Hopefully we can do enough to get the three points.”

Despite Livi’s lowly position in the table, their goal difference is far superior to that of their main rivals.

“I would be amazed if the likes of Cowdenbeath, Dumbarton and Alloa for that matter can pull back the difference,” added Burchill. “Other people will be looking at it saying we’ve got an extra point on them, but I’m confident it won’t come down to goal difference and that’s what we believe within the Livingston dressing room.”

Former Hearts striker Gary Glen will again be sidelined with a foot injury, while recent signing Ibra Sekajja picked up a knock during last week’s development game, although Burchill is confident the striker will be passed fit.

Meanwhile, Livingston have signed Scott Pittman from Bo’ness United, while David Robertson has been released.