23 May 2023

Livingston prepared for task of keeping Motherwell’s Kevin van Veen quiet

23 May 2023

Livingston will have to pull out all the stops to deal with Motherwell goal machine Kevin van Veen on Wednesday night, according to assistant boss Neil Hastings.

The 31-year-old Dutchman scored in a ninth consecutive game when he netted a penalty in the ninth minute of stoppage time against Ross County on Saturday to seal three points.

Van Veen took his tally for the season to 27, form which earned him a nomination for the PFA cinch Premiership and Scottish Football Writers Association player of the year award.

Livingston are one point behind Well in eighth place and Hastings knows if they are to leapfrog the visiting Steelmen then they have to get everything right in dealing with Motherwell’s talisman.

He said: “Van Veen is a fantastic player and he has had a great season with the tail end of that being better than the start.

“Individually we will have to be as good as we can be, collectively as a group, will need to be on the money.

“Our goalkeeper will need to have a brilliant game. The whole team will have to be at the top of their game.

“We need to stop the source of balls into him, we have to deal with him individually, we need that little bit of luck.

“Hopefully he doesn’t have his shooting boots on and fingers crossed we can keep him quiet on the night.

“The remarkable thing is, for a team struggling for points over the season, for someone to get the return he has got is testament to him and also testament to the group of players he is playing with because they have to provide him.

“We will try to deal with him as best as we can on Wednesday night.

“Motherwell have been brilliant. A fantastic end to the season since Stuart Kettlewell took charge.

“First and foremost we will go through what we can do better from Saturday and look at areas where we did well but will treat the game completely different. It is a massive challenge.”

Hastings was referring to Livingston’s 2-1 win over bottom side Dundee United 2-1 on Saturday, their first win in four games.

He said: “We had a difficult couple of weeks not getting the results we were after but we have a very honest group and we had a lot of conversations and delighted to get back to winning ways on Saturday in front of the home fans.

“We will always look back with a bit of frustration and disappointment (at not making top-six) but we are always looking to survive and delighted to stay in the league for another year.”

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