“Winning is a habit, unfortunately so is losing” – Vincent Lombardi, legendary Gridiron coach and motivator.
Over the past couple of years Livingston have been used to winning. From the success of back-to-back titles, the players have had a winning mentality instilled into them.
However, the First Division has become such a challenging league and we are finding wins harder to come by.
When you are full of confidence and winning matches you feel you can beat anyone. The team goes into every match with the self-belief they are going to come away with three points. Players feel invincible, hence the reason why the Arsenal team of 2003/ 2004 were named the “Invincibles” after going 49 matches in the English Premier League unbeaten.
This is an all-time record and the team must have felt as if they were never going to be beaten. However, after losing to Manchester United at Old Trafford 2-0, the Arsenal team started to crumble. Amazingly, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal have not won a league title since.
Confidence is a major part of football and, when it is slowly chipped away and you start to lose it, it takes a long time to get it back.
We recently lost our proud 19-month unbeaten home record and since then we have gone on to lose two more home games and struggled to find the winning formula. Before the 3-0 defeat to high-flying Ross County we felt we could beat anyone at home.
After building up such a strong winning mentality and a fearlessness of playing on our patch it was suddenly taken from us. It has certainly knocked some of the wind out of our sails and dented our confidence.
This is a massive test for the whole squad now. When a squad is so used to being successful it is difficult to be on the down side of that.
Yes, we are going through a bad patch but we have to be realistic about it. The First Division is a much more difficult test than we have faced over the past couple of years.
So, is sitting mid-table in a highly competitive league such a bad position to be in?
The management has taken this young squad a long way in a short space of time and everyone must be proud of that.
This weekend’s home game against Queen of the South is one we should look forward to and one that we all should be proud of playing in. Not long ago Livingston FC looked doomed and we were so close to going out of business, so this minor blip of form will not affect this talented squad and we will get back to winning ways.