19 May 2024

Martindale praises fans after relegation and warns Livingston of ‘massive reset’

19 May 2024

Livingston manager David Martindale admitted it is time for a reset at the club as his already relegated side ended their six year stint in the cinch Premiership with a 1-1 draw at home to Hibernian.

Myziane Maolida had fired Hibernian in front just after half-time but Bruce Anderson’s composed finish salvaged a point for Livingston.

Martindale believes half his squad will change but he was grateful for the reaction of the supporters who stuck around to applaud his side off, despite their struggles this year.

He said: “To see the fans at the end applauding means a huge amount to me, the staff and the players. For me that’s what this club is all about.

“We’ve punched above our weight for the last six years and we’ve been relegated but the fans are still getting behind the players.

“We’ve come up a wee bit short. That’s not a secret but I give a huge thanks to the fans because they gave the players the send off they deserve.

“You’re probably going to find that 50 per cent of the players are going to be here next year. Out of that 50 per cent, probably nine or 10 of them are Premiership players and then we will add to that.

“So I don’t think you’ll see a huge difference in personnel and there’s going to be a few names around that the fans are familiar with but it’s given us a chance to have a massive reset and bring some new blood in.

“We half tried that in the summer but finances dictated what we could do in the market.”

Meanwhile, Hibernian interim boss David Gray insisted that he has learned from his experience in the caretaker role, with this being the fourth time he has held the position over the past few years.

Hibs appointed Malky Mackay as Technical Director in midweek and a new managerial appointment is set to be made in due course.

Gray said: “My full focus has been on the difficult period we’ve been in, it was just to get to the end of the season and moving forward we will find out exactly what is happening.

“The League Cup starts straight away so you need to start next season with a clear idea of what needs to be done because Hibs need to be competing for the opportunities to win trophies and that competition starts very early.

“On reflection, every time I’ve been in the position you always get a little taste for it to find out exactly what went well and what didn’t and I think that every time I’ve been in the position I’ve learned from previous experiences which has definitely helped.”

Gray was also full of praise for Maolida who has scored 11 goals during a productive loan spell from Hertha Berlin but the interim boss admitted he is unsure if Hibs will be able to bring the winger back to Easter Road.

He added: “I think he’s been brilliant on and off the pitch. He comes in, he does his work and he works hard and is a top professional. You can clearly see the quality he possesses.

“He’s scored goals. He was quiet in the game today but then he produces that one moment of magic to put us in front.

“Going forward I’m sure there will be many suitors for him if he is available but that’s a question for the next manager or the powers-that-be at the football club.”

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