David Martindale on "something special" happening at Livingston; beating Hibs four times in a row; and Martin Boyle's dive
David Martindale believes “something special” is happening at Livingston after defeating Hibs four times in a row under four different managers.
Victory last December cost Jack Ross his job and was followed by wins over Shaun Maloney and interim boss David Gray last season.
Lee Johnson is the latest victim and Martindale is taking great pride in the Indian sign he appears to hold over the Easter Road club.
“That’s a great stat for Livi, a club of our size, and it just goes to show that possession doesn’t win you games of football,” he said after his team’s 2-1 win at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
“It’s shots on target and the ball lying in the back of the net. That’s down to the players and the staff here – although that sets it up nicely for going to Easter Road.”
He added: “I think there’s something special happening at Livingston with this group of players. It’s a bit like the year we had Lyndon Dykes up front and finished fifth when Covid got it closed down early doors.
“I think we would have finished higher that season and maybe got into Europe. We have a special squad of players at the club just now.
“I’m going to let the window shut then I’ll start speaking to players to get them tied up a bit longer.”
Expressing some sympathy for Johnson, Martindale is convinced his counterpart will be a good manager for Hibs in time.
He added: “I think you’ll see a different Hibs, they are in a transitional phase and Lee will bring more players in.
“They will get used to his way of playing and I think they will be up there at the end of the day because he’s a very good manager and Hibs have the finances to make sure they are up there at the top end of the league.
“We have to squeeze every ounce of aggression, hard work and talent out of everyone because we don’t have the luxury of buying a game-changer. We need to have sixteen game-changers in our squad.”
Martindale felt Martin Boyle’s second-half penalty claim was a dive and was booked along with Johnson for the fallout afterwards, both benches up in arms.
He said: “Our analyst was watching it in real time and he told us it was a dive, so that’s why we had that reaction from our bench.
“Martin has won a few penalties against us over the years but I don’t think he’s a cheat. He goes down and commits you to making contact with him. So when we heard it was a dive the whole bench erupted and from Lee’s point of view he thought it was a penalty.
“He was shouting it was a penalty and I was shouting it was a dive – you just get caught up in it, that’s football. To be fair, I thought the officials handled the game pretty well.”
Livingston have consecutive away games at Motherwell and Aberdeen up next before they host Dundee United in the Premier Sports Cup at the end of the month.