Livingston seconds from top 6 finish but now facing relegation battle

Livingston manager David Martindale believes his team are in a relegation battle, despite being eight points clear of 11th-place St Johnstone.

Livingston manager David Martindale wasn't happy with his team's defending for Motherwell's late equaliser
Livingston manager David Martindale wasn't happy with his team's defending for Motherwell's late equaliser

He is hoping for a favourable fixture list when details of the post-split games are published by the SPFL.

He said: "Looking at the bottom six, we've actually played four of the five away from home twice, I think Aberdeen is the only team we've not played away from home twice. Hopefully the draw is kind to us.

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"Hopefully you are looking at three home games, especially when four of those teams you are due to play at home. But obviously it can't work out like that."

He added: "We have to pick ourselves up, we've no choice. We're in a relegation battle now, let's be honest.

"There is a 15-point swing at stake, so you're in a relegation battle.

Martindale was only seconds away from securing top-six football for the third consecutive season, but a dramatic 93rd-minute equaliser for Motherwell in a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday meant the visitors sneaked in at Livingston’s expense.

The home side blew a two-goal advantage to drop to seventh after goals from Odin Bailey and man-of-the-match Alan Forrest looked to have sewn up they win they required.

But a piledriver from Callum Slattery set up a tense finish, and Rickie Lamie's header in the dying seconds capped a stunning turnaround.

It was a hard one for Livi to take. They controlled large parts of the game and didn't deserve the ending delivered to them.

Martindale added: "The top six is in our hands and 30 seconds to go, we don't defend our area or our box. It's not good enough. I'm gutted for the boys but also really unhappy with how we defended our 18-yard box in the dying seconds."

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