Livingston boss David Martindale on why St Mirren counterpart Jim Goodwin is in high demand

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Livingston manager David Martindale praised his St Mirren counterpart Jim Goodwin for the way he has set about establishing himself as one of the top young bosses in Scottish football.

The 40-year-old Goodwin has emerged as the front-runner for the Aberdeen vacancy after following up his impressive start as a boss at Alloa by overseeing steady progress in Paisley since landing the Buddies job in 2019.

St Mirren are currently in the top six and the last eight of the Scottish Cup after a run of six wins and a draw from their last seven games as they prepare to travel to Livingston this Saturday.

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Martindale is huge admirer of the Irishman's work and can see why other clubs are taking note.

Livingston manager David Martindale has praised the work of Jim Goodwin at St MirrenLivingston manager David Martindale has praised the work of Jim Goodwin at St Mirren
Livingston manager David Martindale has praised the work of Jim Goodwin at St Mirren

"I think Jim's been brilliant," he said. "He went and did his apprenticeship at Alloa, learnt part-time football and did very well.

"Every window, Jim has consistently made St Mirren a better football team. You can see the job he's done with each window, and that's a sign of very good management.

"Recruitment is absolutely massive in what you can do as a manager because the players you recruit are the ones who take your blueprint on to the park and Jim has consistently made St Mirren a better football team with each window.

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"I've dealt with him a lot over the years and he's someone I like to chat to after games. I really like him."

While Goodwin and Martindale are two of the managers in Scottish football currently enjoying a period of relative positivity, they saw two of their counterparts lose their jobs this week after Aberdeen sacked Stephen Glass and Dundee did likewise with James McPake.

Martindale, who became Livingston boss in 2020 after six years as assistant, feels blessed to have a job at a club which has allowed him such stability and longevity.

"It's a difficult industry," he said. "You're under major pressure and there are people losing their jobs when you could potentially argue that they've done a good job this year.

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"People talk about managers bringing their own philosophy to a team but for me it takes potentially three or four windows to achieve that but if you lose your next six games, you're potentially not going to be in the building long enough to do that.

"I'm very fortunate that this is my eighth year at Livingston and my seventh year in a managerial position so I think I've built up a wee bit of credit in the bank with the fans in terms of understanding that we're probably punching above our weight in most games.

"When things don't go our way, they're probably a wee bit more understanding than what maybe some fans at other clubs are.

"When we were sitting 12th and 11th, there was a wee bit of criticism on social media but the majority of fans were backing the players and myself to stay in the Premiership, which is satisfying. It's very rare in modern football to have the continuity I've had here."