{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"livingston","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":16,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-players-cancel-christmas-trip-abroad-after-livingston-humiliation-1-4844543","id":"1.4844543","articleHeadline": "Hearts players cancel Christmas trip abroad after Livingston humiliation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1544874653144 ,"articleLead": "Hearts players have cancelled their Christmas trip to Prague following Friday night's 5-0 defeat by Livingston.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4844542.1544874791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts captain Christophe Berra looks shocked during the 5-0 defeat by Livingston"} ,"articleBody": "


The first-team squad were due to fly to the Czech capital today for a weekend celebration but chose to abandon their plans.

The Evening News has learned it was a decision taken solely by the players in the wake of their humiliating loss against Livingston.

Five goals in a chaotic 14-minute spell late in the game saw the West Lothian club record their biggest ever victory against Hearts.

Visiting midfielder Arnaud Djoum was sent off with the score at 1-0 and his colleagues capitulated in alarming fashion thereafter.

Craig Halkett put Livingston ahead from the penalty spot on 72 minutes before an impressive solo effort from Dolly Menga doubled the advantage.

Two strikes from on-loan Rangers forward Ryan Hardie and a late Shaun Byrne goal completed Hearts' misery, leaving their fans outraged at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

As a result, the players at Tynecastle Park will stay home to prepare for next weekend's match at Aberdeen instead of heading off on their pre-planned Christmas trip.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4844542.1544874791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4844542.1544874791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts captain Christophe Berra looks shocked during the 5-0 defeat by Livingston","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts captain Christophe Berra looks shocked during the 5-0 defeat by Livingston","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4844542.1544874791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/livingston-0-0-celtic-hoops-held-by-resolute-livi-but-go-top-on-goal-difference-1-4827818","id":"1.4827818","articleHeadline": "Livingston 0-0 Celtic: Hoops held by resolute Livi but go top on goal difference","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1541948106000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic achieved their ultimate goal of reaching the top of the league. It just wasn’t in the swashbuckling way they might have envisaged. But then a 0-0 draw at Livingston is not to be sniffed at these days.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4827817.1541948103!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Odsonne Edouard is foiled by Craig Halkett as Livingston and Celtic played out an entertaining goalless draw in West Lothian. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Celtic went from the high of a performance labelled by manager Brendan Rodgers as their best in Europe under him to coming up short at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Still, the point is enough to see them usurp Hearts as league leaders on goal difference as they took over top spot for the first time this season.

It’s looking particularly ominous for their rivals since Celtic also have a game in hand.

Perhaps understandably, this display lacked the vigour of the dramatic, draining

victory over RB Leipzig in midweek. While they found a way to break down the big-spending German side, Celtic were endlessly frustrated by a gang of gold-shirted desparados otherwise known as Livingston FC.

The free-scoring visitors ran into a gridlock here in the West Lothian new town after five successive league victories where they racked up 21 goals.

Red Bull could be what fuels this Livingston side. Or, more likely, their doggedness is down to such good old-fashioned qualities as physical fitness and a fierce commitment to defending from the front.

Everyone knows their job, from the tireless Dolly Menga in attack to those in a Livi back-line that continues to excel.

They can, sometimes, overstep the line. Menga was very lucky to escape a red card for pushing his head towards Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie after a tussle in the box while the players waited for a throw-in.

This occurred just before the half-hour mark. It’s unlikely even Livingston could have coped with shutting out the champions for over an hour while down to ten men.

Christie, to his credit, did not throw himself to the ground nor did he draw attention to the incident. Referee Kevin Clancy only spoke to the pair.

There was a more serious clash of heads in terms of damage sustained later in the game when Kris Ajer, making his first league start since September, fell to the turf after an aerial challenge with Livingston skipper Craig Halkett. Felip Benkovic replaced him with just over 20 minutes left. The centre-half was later revealed to have suffered a fractured eye socket and could be on the sidelines until next year.

No blame could be attached to Halkett, whose committed performance typifies Livingston and is from where his side seem to draw so much inspiration.

• READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Rangers eye rising star in Italy, injury to key Celtic man, Rangers man set for Scotland call

• READ MORE - Brendan Rodgers welcomes competition in Celtic’s engine room

Declan Gallagher, his centre-half colleague, won everything in the air. So accustomed is the defender to leaping to meet objects above his head it’s a wonder there are any lightbulbs left working at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

There was a passage of play in the first-half where Gallagher and Celtic goalkeeper Scott Bain, in for the injured Craig Gordon, enjoyed their own private duel during a series of corners. Gallagher won three headers in quick succession. Bain tipped the first two over and saved the third. Gallagher was equally commanding in the air at the other end.

Liam Kelly, the home goalkeeper, won man of the match. A twisting aerial save towards the end from Tom Rogic helped earn this point for Livingston, who drew 0-0 with Celtic on their first meeting in 2001.

Twenty straight defeats have duly followed. So this was a result to be celebrated against a side making their first visit for over ten years. As Rangers recently found to their cost, it’s a tricky venue.

“This is Livingston”, the sign above the players’ tunnel, does not have the same ring as “This is Anfield”, but the message must be respected all the same.

Despite the away fans vastly outnumbering the home ones, the stadium seems somehow inhospitable. Perhaps this has something to do with the artificial surface or the tight, bowl-like confines.

Noise is amplified while those times when quietness descends are made to seem more profound. The minute’s silence for Armistice day was mostly well observed with just a few forced coughs from one end of the stadium.

The admirable statement released by Celtic on Friday night underlining the club’s own losses in the First World War certainly appeared to have the desired effect.

Kick-off, following this show of respect, took place against a backdrop of cheers. Celtic were looking for a way to the top. Livingston, meanwhile, were striving for a route back into the top six.

A two-goal victory would have secured this. At times yesterday, certainly in the first half, a 2-0 home win didn’t look completely unattainable.

Gary Holt’s side were first to threaten. Mikael Lustig, who was continuing as skipper in the absence of Scott Brown, blocked Halkett’s full-blooded effort.

Kelly’s first taste of action of note was to block a Christie effort after a neat touch from Odsonne Edouard. Scott Pittman then blocked Rogic’s effort from the rebound.

James Forrest was the next player to come close when his shot just cleared the junction of bar and post a minute before half-time.

The winger was replaced by Lewis Morgan 15 minutes into the second half as Rodgers sought to try something different.

The substitute had a near immediate impact as he tested Kelly from distance with an effort that seemed to move in the air.

The goalkeeper watched it all the way, as he did when Rogic signalled danger when shifting the ball on to his left foot on the edge of the box with five minutes left.

It would have surprised no one if the net had bulged shortly afterwards but Kelly, again, intervened.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4827817.1541948103!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4827817.1541948103!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Odsonne Edouard is foiled by Craig Halkett as Livingston and Celtic played out an entertaining goalless draw in West Lothian. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Odsonne Edouard is foiled by Craig Halkett as Livingston and Celtic played out an entertaining goalless draw in West Lothian. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4827817.1541948103!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/gary-holt-wants-livingston-to-be-ruthless-after-late-loss-at-hamilton-1-4824335","id":"1.4824335","articleHeadline": "Gary Holt wants Livingston to be ruthless after late loss at Hamilton","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1541399413000 ,"articleLead": "

Livingston boss Gary Holt asked for a more ruthless streak from his team after they slipped to a second-successive defeat for the first time this season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4824334.1541351144!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Livi's Craig Halkett battles with Fredrik Brustad"} ,"articleBody": "

The 1-0 loss at Hamilton – through Mason Bloomfield’s 86th-minute goal – moves Holt’s side out of the top six for the first time since August.

Livi are still a whopping 
15 points clear of bottom-placed Dundee, but the manager wants more.

“We’ve got to be men and grow up. We’ve got to learn the level that we’re at and we’ve got to be braver. We did play well on Saturday. We created a number of chances and hit the bar at the end.

“We got the old sucker punch which is a kick in the teeth but you’ve just got to take it on the chin sometimes. It’s all about bouncing back now and being brave and going again.”

Hamilton manager Martin Canning paid tribute to his players as they coped without their two most experienced men. Accies were missing more than 400 appearances in the shape of the suspended duo Dougie Imrie and Darian MacKinnon but still battled hard to win, ending a run of six games without victory.

“Darian and Dougie have been here so long and they optimise the way we go about our business,” Canning said.

“To be missing those two and still have enough in the tank to go and beat a difficult team is great for us.

“It was a game that would have suited Darian and Dougie too with the number of tackles. Tom Taiwo hasn’t trained in about a month and he put himself forward to go and play for us and he did great as well.

“It’s great to have a team of players who are desperate to get on the pitch and give you everything they’ve got.”

Mickel Miller had just been dismissed for two bookable offences prior to the winning goal – the third dismissal for Hamilton in as many games while MacKinnon was also cited retrospectively for a heavy challenge on Kilmarnock’s Alan Power in the 1-1 draw last weekend.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4824334.1541351144!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4824334.1541351144!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Livi's Craig Halkett battles with Fredrik Brustad","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Livi's Craig Halkett battles with Fredrik Brustad","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4824334.1541351144!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/15-statistical-leaders-from-the-2018-19-scottish-premiership-thus-far-1-4812951","id":"1.4812951","articleHeadline": "15 statistical leaders from the 2018/19 Scottish Premiership thus far","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539177269000 ,"articleLead": "

With the international break here to annoy us until the real stuff starts up again, it’s time use this unwelcome break to take stock. Using Wyscout.com, Craig Fowler has pored over the advanced statistical categories and collated the most notable leaders in order to paint a picture of the season so far.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4812950.1539178087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu, left, has enjoyed some physical battles with opposing defenders. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Aidan Smith: Hearts and Celtic could be a much-needed cup classic

No player has been fouled as much (21) or committed as many fouls (31) this season as Uche Ikpeazu, which says a lot for the Hearts striker’s incredible strength. It’s difficult to stop him without resorting to nefarious means, while a shoulder barge from the big man is capable of sending any opponent in the league flying into the stand.

Livingston goalkeeper Liam Kelly has sent the ball flying into the air more than any other, attempting 142 long passes through eight games, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering Livingston’s direct (though undeniably successful) tactics. His team-mate Declan Gallagher is also in the top five for that particular stat and has attempted the most of any outfield player (90).

Sticking with goalkeepers, Zander Clark leads the league in goals conceded (18), shots faced (64) and saves made (46). The latter two are by a comfortable distance, which doesn’t say a lot for St Johnstone’s defence so far this season, though at least Joe Shaughnessy has the best percentage of aerial duel success, winning 74.14 of his battles thus far.

At the other end, Motherwell attackers Curtis Main (99) and Conor Sammon (21.83) have fought for the most headers overall and per 90 minutes, respectively. This says a lot about Stephen Robinson’s weekly gameplan, though probably not too much that you didn’t know already.

It’s also no surprise to see that Aberdeen skipper Graeme Shinnie is officially the most combative player in the league, getting involved in 91 defensive duels. Though his 18.68 success rate is well behind that of leader Craig Halkett (41.67).

The Livingston stopper has faced two of the 39 crosses attempted by Rangers full-back Borna Barisic. The Croatian’s presence atop the pack is quite surprising, considering he’s played 326 fewer minutes than Gary Mackay-Steven, the man in second.

The Aberdeen winger can at least console himself with being the most daring dribbler in the league as he’s taken on opponents on 80 separate occasions. However, it is Hibs’ Daryl Horgan who has had most success with completing 81.63 per cent of his dribbles.

Kilmarnock striker Eammon Brophy can claim to be the most active forward thus far, attempting the highest number of shots (26) and being caught offside the most (12). He can not, however, claim to be the most accurate striker (though he is in the top five) as both Steven Naismith of Hearts and Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths share that honour with 61.11 per cent of their efforts on target thus far.

Speaking of the reigning champions, they have the top three players for passes attempted. Although, somewhat surprisingly, last year’s leader Scott Brown (461) is in third behind Dedryck Boyata (573) and Mikael Lustig (527), indicating that teams are looking to reduce Brown’s influence after his Player of the Year campaign.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4812950.1539178087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4812950.1539178087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu, left, has enjoyed some physical battles with opposing defenders. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu, left, has enjoyed some physical battles with opposing defenders. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4812950.1539178087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/scottish-football-live-rangers-eye-former-defender-dispute-over-kyle-lafferty-exit-italian-legend-hails-ibrox-stadium-1-4812687","id":"1.4812687","articleHeadline": "Scottish Football Live: Rangers eye former defender, dispute over Kyle Lafferty exit, Italian legend hails Ibrox stadium","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539158159000 ,"articleLead": "

Follow The Scotsman’s daily blog as we keep you updated with all the latest news, views, rumours and much more from around Scottish football.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4812685.1539158154!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Halkett, right, is said to be a target for Rangers. Picture: Michael Gillen"} ,"articleBody": "

Refresh for updates.

• READ MORE: Rumour Mill: Griffiths denies liking abusive tweet | World Cup winner: ‘Ibrox one of the best’ | Rangers star snubs national team

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4812685.1539158154!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4812685.1539158154!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig Halkett, right, is said to be a target for Rangers. Picture: Michael Gillen","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Halkett, right, is said to be a target for Rangers. Picture: Michael Gillen","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4812685.1539158154!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5788601467001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/man-charged-after-assistant-struck-by-object-at-livingston-v-rangers-clash-1-4809965","id":"1.4809965","articleHeadline": "Man charged after assistant struck by object at Livingston v Rangers clash","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538663241000 ,"articleLead": "

A man has been charged after an assistant referee was struck with a coin during a football match.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4809964.1538663237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The back of assistant referee Calum Spences head after receiving treatment for a head injury. Picture; Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The incident happened during the game between Livingston and Rangers at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Sunday 30th September.

The 30-year-old is scheduled to appear at Livingston Sheriff Court on Friday October 5.

Superintendent Craig Smith, Event Commander for the match, said: “As a result of this incident we received an overwhelming number of calls from the public, who shared our position that such behaviour was totally unacceptable.

“I’d like to thank both sets of supporters, the respective clubs and the general public for their assistance during this investigation.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4809964.1538663237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4809964.1538663237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The back of assistant referee Calum Spences head after receiving treatment for a head injury. Picture; Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The back of assistant referee Calum Spences head after receiving treatment for a head injury. Picture; Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4809964.1538663237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hayley-mcqueen-defends-herself-as-fans-attack-sky-sports-coverage-1-4807796","id":"1.4807796","articleHeadline": "Hayley McQueen defends herself as fans attack Sky Sports coverage","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538407197000 ,"articleLead": "

Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen has defended herself on social media after being criticised over Sky Sports’ coverage of Livingston’s match with Rangers on Sunday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807794.1538407193!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen alongside former Celtic star Kris Commons. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Five things we learned from the Scottish Premiership weekend

After Livingston’s 1-0 win, the three-person panel, also featuring Kris Boyd and Kris Commons, discussed Celtic’s unsettled start to the 2018/19 season.

This anger some supporters, who felt it unnecessary to focus on Brendan Rodgers’ side when their greatest rivals had just suffered defeat and remained behind Celtic in the league table.

One fan tweeted: “Rangers* lose and hurting @HayleyMcQueen immediately launches into “Celtic in crisis” pre-planned deflection mode. Can’t hide it.”

Instead of ignoring it, though, the presenter decided to fire back.

She wrote: “Why you think I’m a Rangers fan, god knows, it’s obviously what you want to believe. A decision to discuss Celtic today was an editorial decision not mine personally. End of.”

She later added: “I’m actually not defending it but when you tweet me with something that is wrong I will correct it. As explained already I do not control our editorial output.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4807794.1538407193!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807794.1538407193!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen alongside former Celtic star Kris Commons. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen alongside former Celtic star Kris Commons. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4807794.1538407193!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5830548442001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/why-livingston-are-a-welcome-addition-to-the-scottish-premiership-party-1-4807924","id":"1.4807924","articleHeadline": "Why Livingston are a welcome addition to the Scottish Premiership party","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538402292000 ,"articleLead": "

Livingston deservedly defeated Rangers as they moved into third place in the Ladbrokes Premiership. Joel Sked looks at why the West Lothian side have been a welcome addition to the league.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807918.1538402840!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Livingston's Dolly Menga celebrates his goal against Rangers. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Livingston 1 - 0 Rangers: Menga goal downs Gerrard’s men

Craig Thomson had just signalled the end of Livingston’s momentous 1-0 win over Rangers to lift them into third place when defender Declan Gallagher gestured to numerous Rangers players, effectively telling them to get ‘away up the road’.

It was combative and antagonistic, feeding into the stereotype which has built around the team since last season when it first looked plausible they could secure back-to-back promotions and reach the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Meanwhile, manager Gary Holt summed up the team’s mentality after the victory.

“We know we’re relegation favourites,” he said. “We want to maybe stick two fingers up and say we’re good enough to stay up.”

It paints a picture of Livingston as an unwelcome guest at a house party: an unruly and loud presence, playing beer-pong with an expensive bottle of champagne that was being saved for a special occasion and feeding Sambuca and kettle chips to the dog, all the while the rest of the party are discussing the merits of pairing white wine with seafood or Labour’s radical tax reforms.

Except the Ladbrokes Premiership party is more akin to The Hangover and Livingston are the tiger lurking in the bathroom. They add a wild-card factor to what is an already enjoyable, rowdy and impressive ‘celebration’ of football.

Seven games into the league season and Livi sit third. And deservedly so as they continue to impress. Their first seven fixtures have included five games against last season’s top six. They were defeated by Celtic but picked up draws against Kilmarnock and league leaders Hearts, while gaining wins over Hibs and Rangers.

Steven Gerrard’s men were the latest to falter against the West Lothian side. They didn’t just falter, they were soundly beaten. If it had finished Livingston 4 Rangers 0 it would have been a shocking result on so many levels. Yet, those who watched the game would not have been surprised in the slightest.

The latest result was yet another blow to the ego of all those - and there were many - who tipped and expected Livingston to be propping up the league table now and come the season end.

From a distance such a prediction was understandable. The man who had led the club to back-to-back promotions David Hopkin had left despite not having another managerial post lined up, while his replacement was Kenny Miller, appointed player/manager.

Something didn’t smell right. And that only intensified when Miller, bizarrely yet unsurprisingly, became the first manager to leave their post after only seven weeks in the job.

Such upheaval in a short space of time goes against any sort of rationale which would see a team exceed all expectations. Yet, here we are. Livingston are in a European spot, albeit with the league still at a nascent stage.

What many underestimated was the team. This is a tight-knit squad which has largely been together for three seasons. In the final home game of their League One winning campaign of 2016-2017, Liam Kelly, Declan Gallagher, Craig Halkett, Alan Lithgow, Rafa De Vita and Scott Pittman all started. Keeghan Jacobs and Nicky Cadden were on the bench, while Shaun Byrne was unavailable.

Not only are all nine still with the club, they are key individuals. While Cadden has been used regularly as a sub and De Vita is yet to feature, the other seven form the Livingston spine, an impenetrable wall. Only Hearts have conceded fewer goals, yet Livingston are the only team to have kept five league clean sheets.

The midfield trio in Jacobs, Pittman and Byrne complement one another so well. Jacobs sits at the base allowing the latter duo to engage opponents. Pittman is so effective and getting up in support of the attack and running beyond, as seen with his early chance against Rangers.

Byrne is reminiscent of N’Golo Kante. He goes hunting, snapping into challenges and making it very uncomfortable for opponents. But he is more than just energy, he reads the game well to break it up and is composed on the ball.

• READ MORE: Rangers boss Steven Gerrard: ‘This can’t keep happening’

• READ MORE: Rangers boss pays credit to Livingston

• READ MORE: Livingston v Rangers: Police investigating after assistant struck by object

The trio are supported by Scott Robinson, a real livewire on his return to the top-flight, and Dolly Menga, who has been an astute piece of business. They defend from the front with the latter buying into the club’s ethos. He provides selfless running and offers a more mobile and physical focal point than veteran Lee Miller who is currently out injured.

During Miller’s short period in charge he curiously opted for Steven Saunders instead of Alan Lithgow in a three-man backline. Once Miller had exited, Lithgow was immediately restored.

The defensive axis of Lithgow, Gallgher and Halkett is the team’s backbone. Their priority is as follows: defend at all costs. Captain Halkett has been one of the best, and most consistent, players in the league this season.

Each individual adds to and embraces the collective. Last season Hopkin praised the squad’s professionalism and desire to eke out every morsel of talent. They look like a team who have been coached to within an ounce of their lives. Watching them move about the pitch in tandem can be hypnotic.

It’s this which has allowed Holt to come in and hit the ground running. Almost as if this Livingston squad simply needs a custodian rather than manager.

Much has been made of David Martindale’s involvement at Livingston and how much influence he has. It does, at times, look as if he is the manager. He’s often a vocal presence on the edge of the technical area, greeting players first when they come off and after the win over Rangers he was on the pitch giving Steve Lawson coaching instructions. That being said, it works.

As does Livingston’s game plan. They are simply very, very good at the football they play. The team are no doubt capable of keeping the ball and playing a more possession-based style. But that isn’t what has taken them into the top flight and into the top three.

They are unapologetically direct - playing the highest number of long passes per 90 minutes in the league - and utilise the long throw to their advantage. When they sense an opportunity to put the ball into the box they take it, with the team recording the highest percentage of aerial duels won.

“We keep our shape and we defend well and try to get teams on the counter attack,” explained Pittman.

“We start every game with a point and the manager says ‘just try not to lose it’. We try to press the other team, get in people’s faces, don’t make it easy for them.”

It is no surprise they have played the fewest passes and recorded the lowest share of possession in the league. It is effective, efficient and enjoyable, certainly in the eyes of this writer.

They suffocate teams with their high energy approach and look to attack centrally. They have hit the fewest crosses per 90 minutes but only Hibs have played a higher number of through passes, while they have the second highest percentage of shots on target, behind Rangers.

Once again, their artificial pitch was brought up, just like a raft of black pellets off the surface, during the Sky Sports broadcast. Holt’s view is as refreshing as it is admirable and honest.

“We are quite happy if people hammer it,” he told BBC Scotland. “It’s a massive advantage for us. We train on it every day and we love it. It makes it quicker.”

Teams can moan all they want when they go to the Tony Macaroni Arena, they won’t be afforded an apology. They will simply have to adjust and compete. Fail to do so and Livi will run through, around and over them, satisfied with the three points as opponents bemoan the newcomers and their pitch on their way up the road.

Like Gallagher after the Rangers game, Livingston will continue to rub opposition teams, players and fans up the wrong way. It will matter little to the club as they show what’s capable with a well-executed gameplan while sticking two fingers up at the doubters along the way.

• READ MORE: Five things we learned from the Scottish Premiership weekend

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4807918.1538402840!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807918.1538402840!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Livingston's Dolly Menga celebrates his goal against Rangers. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Livingston's Dolly Menga celebrates his goal against Rangers. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4807918.1538402840!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4807919.1538402842!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807919.1538402842!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Gary Holt and David Martindale have Livingston well drilled. Picture: SNS/Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gary Holt and David Martindale have Livingston well drilled. Picture: SNS/Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4807919.1538402842!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4807920.1538402848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807920.1538402848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Livingston fans have been treated to a vibrant team. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Livingston fans have been treated to a vibrant team. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4807920.1538402848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5793294221001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/livingston-v-rangers-police-investigating-after-assistant-struck-by-object-1-4807672","id":"1.4807672","articleHeadline": "Livingston v Rangers: Police investigating after assistant struck by object","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538386922000 ,"articleLead": "

Police in West Lothian are appealing for information after they launched an investigation following an assault during a match at Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Arena.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807671.1538386919!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The back of assistant referee Calum Spences head after receiving treatment for a head injury. Picture; SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The assault happened around 2.50pm on Sunday, September 30, during a match between Livingston and Rangers.

An assistant referee was struck by an object, thought to be a coin, which was thrown from the stand.

READ MORE: Rangers seek to find supporter who threw object at official

The assistant referee sustained a minor injury to the back of his head and was treated at the scene.

Police were in attendance and officers are now appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Superintendent Craig Smith, Event Commander for the match, said: “This is a shocking incident and it is not the type of behaviour we have come to expect from football fans in Scotland.

“We will not tolerate offences of this nature. With this in mind we are eager to trace the person who was spotted throwing an object from the stand.

“I would also ask anyone who has information that can assist our inquiries to get in touch with us immediately. I would also ask anyone who has any photos or footage of this incident to submit this to police.”

Those with information can contact officers at Livingston Police Station on 101, quoting incident number 1324 of September 30, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4807671.1538386919!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807671.1538386919!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The back of assistant referee Calum Spences head after receiving treatment for a head injury. Picture; SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The back of assistant referee Calum Spences head after receiving treatment for a head injury. Picture; SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4807671.1538386919!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/rangers-seek-to-find-supporter-who-threw-object-at-official-1-4807465","id":"1.4807465","articleHeadline": "Rangers seek to find supporter who threw object at official","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538323839000 ,"articleLead": "

Rangers security chiefs will ask their Livingston counterparts for CCTV footage in a bid to help identify the culprit who targeted linesman Calum Spence with a missile.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807464.1538323835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The back of assistant referee Calum Spence's head after receiving treatment for an injury. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Livingston 1 - 0 Rangers: Menga goal downs Gerrard’s men

The Ibrox side’s clash with Livi at the Tony Macaroni Arena was held up for several minutes after the assistant referee was struck.

The incident occurred around 15 minutes into the second half when an object was thrown from the East Stand housing the travelling Gers support.

Spence had to be treated by Lions physio Andy MacKenzie after sustaining a wound to the back of his head.

But he was able to continue and saw out the match, which Gary Holt’s side won 1-0 thanks to a Dolly Menga winner.

Gers chiefs are now set to contact Livingston’s security officers to offer assistance in tracking down the person responsible.

After the match, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard condemned the ugly scenes.

He said: “I don’t think that belongs in football does it? I think we all know that’s not right. He’s trying to do a job so that’s not right.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4807464.1538323835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807464.1538323835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The back of assistant referee Calum Spence's head after receiving treatment for an injury. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The back of assistant referee Calum Spence's head after receiving treatment for an injury. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4807464.1538323835!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/livingston-1-0-rangers-menga-goal-downs-gerrard-s-men-1-4807460","id":"1.4807460","articleHeadline": "Livingston 1 - 0 Rangers: Menga goal downs Gerrard’s men","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1538317473000 ,"articleLead": "

Rangers suffered another bout of away-day blues as Dolly Menga’s strike consigned Steven Gerrard’s disjointed side to a 1-0 defeat at Livingston.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807459.1538320499!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dolly Menga celebrates his first-half goal, which ultimately proved to be the winner. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Official left bleeding after being struck during Rangers match

The Ibrox side were looking to record their first win on the road since February’s 4-1 triumph at St Johnstone, but Gary Holt’s team inflicted just Gerrard’s second defeat in 18 games as manager to leave his side eight points adrift of runaway Ladbrokes Premiership leaders Hearts.

Menga struck seven minutes before half-time and a Rangers line-up short on inspiration never looked like levelling.

While Rangers now drop down to sixth spot, Livingston climb to third and only behind Hibernian on goal difference. And there could be further trouble in store for Rangers after linesman Calum Spence had to be treated for a head wound after an object was apparently thrown from the away end.

Gerrard made eight changes to the side which swept past Ayr into the Betfred Cup semi-finals. Holt, on the other hand, went with the same Livi 11 which took a point off Hearts last week and he would have been delighted with the way his well-drilled outfit suffocated their opponents at every turn.

Rangers may have dominated possession but Livingston did more with the ball they had. They should have scored just two minutes in when Menga’s first-time lay-off sent Scott Pittman through on Allan McGregor’s goal but the midfielder tugged his big chance wide.

A deep Keaghan Jacobs free-kick then found skipper Craig Halkett but his defensive partner Alan Lithgow could only stab wide at the back post. Rangers did grab control but there looked to be more hope than belief about their play in the final third.

Alfredo Morelos certainly felt he should have had a penalty on the quarter-hour mark as he and Steven Lawless collided but referee Steven Thomson waved away the Colombian’s appeals.

Rangers managed just two first-half shots on target but former Ibrox goalkeeper Liam Kelly was barely troubled by Lassana Coulibaly’s header and a tame Ovie Ejaria strike.

While Livi’s 34th-minute opener may have been against the run of play, no one can deny they deserved it for their graft alone. Again Rangers failed to deal with a deep Jacobs set-piece. Scott Arfield did not react as Declan Gallagher slotted the ball to Scott Robinson, who kept his cool to pick out Menga for a simple finish.

Gerrard acted at the break as he swapped Coulibaly for Ryan Kent and the switch almost provided an immediate impact as the winger slotted in Morelos but the impressive Kelly raced from his line to block.

But Livingston continued to suck the visitors into playing exactly the type of game they enjoy, with Lithgow and Halkett sweeping up long ball after long ball. Holt’s side could have stretched their lead in the final stages but McGregor stood up well to deny Jacobs before Lithgow headed wide from the corner.

Rangers substitute Glenn Middleton had another late claim for a penalty as he tangled with Jacobs but again Thomson looked away.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDY NEWPORT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4807459.1538320499!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4807459.1538320499!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dolly Menga celebrates his first-half goal, which ultimately proved to be the winner. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dolly Menga celebrates his first-half goal, which ultimately proved to be the winner. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4807459.1538320499!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/livingston-2-1-hibs-lennon-s-side-slump-to-first-league-defeat-1-4793544","id":"1.4793544","articleHeadline": "Livingston 2 - 1 Hibs: Lennon’s side slump to first league defeat","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1535818875000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs succumbed to their first defeat in the Ladbrokes Premiership this season after letting a second-half lead slip away to Livingston.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4793543.1535818871!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Livingston's Scott Pittman puts his side ahead. Pic: SNS/Rob Casey"} ,"articleBody": "

Daryl Horgan had appeared to set Neil Lennon’s side on the path to victory with a composed finish at the end of a goalmouth scramble. But two impressive solo goals from Shaun Byrne and Scott Pittman gave new manager Gary Holt his second victory in as many games as Livingston moved above their opponents in the league table.

The away side made two changes from last week’s 1-1 draw against Aberdeen with Jamie Maclaren returning to the starting XI following his late equaliser. He took the place of the absent David Gray, as Martin Boyle moved to right wing-back in the 3-5-2. The other change saw Lewis Allan granted his first competitive appearance for Hibs in over three years. He partnered Maclaren in attack with Oli Shaw taking up residence on the bench.

The visitors controlled the opening half hour but, aside from a few dangerous runs from Martin Boyle, they struggled to break down their organised and disciplined hosts.

Despite not seeing much of the ball in the period, it was Livingston who forced the first chance. Adam Bogdan had to be alert to tip away a hooked effort from Livi debutant Dolly Menga.

Hogdan shot over from 25 yards before Allan saw a close-range attempt deflected wide as Hibs tried in vain to find a way through. Stevie Mallan then fired high over the ball after a Boyle cross was deflected into his path.

Hibs forced Liam Kelly into his first save a minute later. Again Boyle was involved as his deflected cross dropped in the area of Allan. The youngster had to contort his body but got a good connection on his finish, which Kelly parried away at the far post.

The hosts then enjoyed their brightest spell of the period. Pittman embarked on a terrific solo run which took him from near halfway to deep inside the Hibs box as he jinked past players on the way. Just as he was about to pull the trigger, Steven Whittaker appeared to nick the ball off his toes.

Craig Halkett headed wide before Livingston blew a golden opportunity to take the lead. Menga streaked past Ryan Porteous on the counter and had a two-on-one situation with Scott Robinson against Paul Hanlon. The striker waited too long to pass for his team-mate, allowing Hanlon to get over and block the cross.

After surviving that scare, Hibs should have been ahead at the half. Boyle’s cross was missed by Allan but fell perfectly for Lewis Stevenson running in from the left wing. The defender could only side-foot his effort over the bar.

The hosts then had a similar opportunity at the beginning of the second half. Menga maneuvered around Porteous before crossing for Pittman. The midfielder failed to take a strong first touch, meaning he had to dig out his shot, which was hit right at Bogdan.

It looked like they would rue that miss when Hibs took the lead on 52 minutes. An Efe Ambrose long throw into the six-yard box started a frantic scramble. When it rolled into the path of Horgan the summer signing from Preston cooly steered his effort into the far corner with the outside of his boot.

The advantage would last only six minutes as Lennon’s men were pegged back by a terrific goal from Shaun Byrne. The defensive-midfield spoiler showed the skills of a enterprising playmaker to control a high ball before beating two defenders and drilling the ball low past Bogdan.

Buoyed by his strike, Byrne almost had the ball in the back of the net again just a few minutes later. Cutting in from the right flank, his inswinging cross almost found the far corner as it whistled just wide.

Bogdan was then forced into a full-stretch stop to tip over a Scott Pittman header as Livingston turned up the pressure.

Just after introducing Thomas Agyepong for his debut in a bid to add some creative spark, Lennon then watched his side fall behind. Again it was a poor goal for the away defence to lose, as Pittman evaded a couple of challenges inside the area before emphatically slamming his finish beyond the goalkeeper.

Hibs pushed for a late equaliser, but barring a half-chance for Boyle, which he sliced into the side netting, they couldn’t find a way through.

Livingston (3-5-2): Kelly; Gallagher, Lithgow, Halkett; Lawless (Kaja 65), Byrne, Pittman, Jacobs, Lamie; Robinson (Cadden 77), Menga (Hamilton 83). Subs not used: Stewart, McMillan, Lawson, Burns.

Hibs (3-5-2): Bogdan; Ambrose, Porteous, Hanlon; Boyle, Mallan (Agyepong 70), Whittaker, Horgan, Stevenson; Allan (Shaw 76), Maclaren (Hyndman 63). Subs not used: Laidlaw, Slivka, Murray, Mackie

Bookings: Hibs - Whittaker

Attendance: 5305

Referee: Steven McLean

Join our Facebook group Our Edinburgh to share images and news from and around the Capital

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4793543.1535818871!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4793543.1535818871!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Livingston's Scott Pittman puts his side ahead. Pic: SNS/Rob Casey","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Livingston's Scott Pittman puts his side ahead. Pic: SNS/Rob Casey","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4793543.1535818871!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/bobby-burns-joins-livingston-on-loan-from-hearts-1-4790901","id":"1.4790901","articleHeadline": "Bobby Burns joins Livingston on loan from Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1535456404029 ,"articleLead": "Hearts teenager Bobby Burns has joined Livingston on loan to get regular first-team football.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4790900.1535456505!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bobby Burns is to move from Hearts on loan to Livingston"} ,"articleBody": "


A summer arrival from the Northern Irish club Glenavon, the versatile midfielder moves to Almondvale for the rest of the season after making four Hearts appearances so far.

Burns signed a three-year contract with the Edinburgh club in June and, at 18, is viewed as a prospect for the future by the Tynecastle hierarchy.

The move to Livingston is intended to let him continue developing by playing Scottish Premiership football week in and week out.

He had found himself on the periphery of the Hearts first-team recently but is expected to feature regularly under new Livingston manager Gary Holt. He will still be eligible to play reserve football for his parent club.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4790900.1535456505!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4790900.1535456505!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bobby Burns is to move from Hearts on loan to Livingston","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bobby Burns is to move from Hearts on loan to Livingston","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4790900.1535456505!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/gary-holt-appointed-new-livingston-manager-1-4788500","id":"1.4788500","articleHeadline": "Gary Holt appointed new Livingston manager","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1535015468000 ,"articleLead": "

Gary Holt has been appointed new manager of Livingston, succeeding Kenny Miller.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4788499.1535015465!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gary Holt during his Falkirk days. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The former Falkirk boss could be in the dugout for Saturday’s game with St Mirren, with the West Lothian club hoping to tie up a deal by the close of play on Friday.

Miller was appointed in June but left after just seven weeks after disagreeing with the club’s request that he hang up his boots to focus on management duties.

Holt was on the four-person shortlist for the Lions job before Miller was appointed, and led the Bairns to the play-offs at the end of the 2013/14 season before leaving for Carrow Road.

The 45-year-old, who also spent time coaching with Norwich City’s academy, spent most of his playing career with Kilmarnock and the Canaries, as well as stints with Nottingham Forest and Wycombe.

The 10-cap Scotland international said he was “excited” by the opportunity and challenge, adding that he was looking forward to working with the players and backroom staff.

Ex-Arsenal captain Tony Adams had expressed an interest in the role while David Hopkin was also linked with a sensational return to the Tony Macaroni Arena.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4788499.1535015465!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4788499.1535015465!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Gary Holt during his Falkirk days. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gary Holt during his Falkirk days. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4788499.1535015465!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/tony-adams-ex-arsenal-and-england-captain-linked-with-livingston-job-1-4787903","id":"1.4787903","articleHeadline": "Tony Adams, ex-Arsenal and England captain, linked with Livingston job","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534933259000 ,"articleLead": "

Former Arsenal captain and England international Tony Adams has been linked with the Livingston job, according to reports.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4787902.1534936927!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tony Adams pictured during his time in charge of Granada. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The 51-year-old is understood to have made contact with the West Lothian side to signal his interest in succeeding Kenny Miller.

Adams, who made over 560 appearances for Arsenal, has been in Edinburgh promoting his book “Sober” and became aware of the vacancy after Miller departed the Tony Macaroni Arena after just seven weeks.

• READ MORE - Kenny Miller didn’t have autonomy at Livingston, claims John Hughes

He hasn’t managed since an ill-fated spell in charge of Spanish side Granada in 2017 resulted in the team being relegated to the country’s second tier.

Adams has also had spells managing Wycombe Wanderers, Portsmouth and Gabala in Azerbaijan. He also spent time with Chinese Super League side Chongqing Dangdai as sporting director.

However, the 66-cap England international faces competition from ex-Falkirk boss Gary Holt, and former Queen of the South manager Gavin Skelton, while David Martindale is expected to take charge of the first team this weekend.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4787902.1534936927!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4787902.1534936927!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tony Adams pictured during his time in charge of Granada. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tony Adams pictured during his time in charge of Granada. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4787902.1534936927!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/best-scottish-football-twitter-reactions-to-kenny-miller-s-livingston-exit-1-4786644","id":"1.4786644","articleHeadline": "Best Scottish football Twitter reactions to Kenny Miller’s Livingston exit","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534753294000 ,"articleLead": "

Kenny Miller became the first manager to leave their post in the Ladbrokes Premiership, parting company with Livingston. Scottish football fans had their say on Twitter.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4786642.1534753810!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kenny Miller has left Livingston. Picture: SNS/Craig Foy"} ,"articleBody": "

@JordanC1107: “Wonder who leaked the news about Kenny Miller leaving Livingston? Probably that new forward Kenny Miller they’ve signed.”

@rosspilcher: “Kenny Miller quitting as Livingston manager is the least surprising thing that will happen this season.

“It’s a funny old game” as he said about eight times during his unveiling press conference.”

@ibroxrocks: “Probably felt he was being undermined by their striker. Him.”

@mcgowan_stephen, on trying to read the Livingston’s statement on their website, tweeted: “Takes longer to open this than he lasted as manager.”

@Nareystoepoker: “Sunday afternoon - Jamie Murphy injured, leaving Rangers desperately short of strikers.

Sunday night - Kenny Miller quits Livingston.

Coincidence?”

@jonnyrmcfarlane: “Kenny Miller may have left Rangers but he’s showing an admirable continuing commitment to the banter years philosophy! #bonkers”

@ByTheMinAFC had a warning for the Aberdeen boss: “Don’t be getting any ideas Del...”

@Amoruso1998: “So Kenny Miller has left Livingston after a bust up with Kenny Miller about Kenny Miller playing ahead of Kenny Miller. Kenny Miller has yet to comment however it is to be confirmed that Kenny Miller has officially left by Lee Wallace.”

@Oldfirmfacts1: “Kenny Miller has sensationally lifted the lid on his time as Livingston boss in an explosive tell-all pamphlet”

@RJMcL: “After failing to sign Kyle Lafferty, Rangers are due to unveil Kenny Miller tomorrow.”

@Oldfirmfacts1: “Kenny Miller’s left already? He’s barely been there 5 minutes” - Willo Flood

@MarkHiggins24: “Kenny Miller has departed Livingston to concentrate on suing Rangers.”

@pieandbov: “Kenny Miller to sign for St.Mirren this week and score the winner against Livingston on Saturday would be peak Scottish Fitba”

@JPhillips_SJ: “Kenny Miller will be playing Scottish league football until he is in his mid-50s.”

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