Soccer

David Martindale happy at Livingston as St Johnstone approach rejected

Livingston manager David Martindale (Robert Perry/PA)
Livingston manager David Martindale (Robert Perry/PA) Livingston manager David Martindale (Robert Perry/PA)

David Martindale is adamant he is perfectly content with Livingston’s decision to reject an approach from St Johnstone regarding their managerial vacancy.

The Perth club requested permission to speak to the 49-year-old about the possibility of replacing the sacked Steven MacLean earlier this week but the Lions released a statement on Tuesday explaining that they would not be allowing their boss to talk to Saints.

Martindale, addressing the situation after Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat away to Hearts, said: “The speculation honestly doesn’t bother me. I was in with (chief executive) Dave Black for about three minutes.

“I said ‘what do you want to do? Do you want to keep me at the club or do you want me to go and speak to St Johnstone?’ He said ‘we want to keep you at the club’. I said ‘perfect’ and I went back out to take training.

“There’s not a lot more to it. I’ve said before, the day I leave Livingston, it will be Livingston’s decision, whether that’s through a negative or a positive. I believe the people at the club have my best interests at heart also.

“Livingston changed my life by giving me an opportunity to be a manager in the Premiership and I’ll never ever forget that.”

Martindale’s team suffered a third straight defeat after losing to Hearts following a 79th-minute goal from substitute Kenneth Vargas.

Jambos boss Steven Naismith praised his side for keeping their composure as they halted a run of three games without a win to climb from the bottom six back up to fourth in the table ahead of their Viaplay Cup semi-final against Rangers on Sunday.

“The biggest and most pleasing thing for me is the patience we showed,” he said. “I’ve been here many a time when it gets desperate and you’re firing long balls in and shooting from 40 yards.

“But there was real control. We were unfortunate not to go in a goal or two up at half-time and that can lead to players being desperate or making the wrong choice but we continued to do the same stuff, create chances and we got our rewards in the end.

“I was pretty comfortable. You can hope you will get the goal but I was quite confident the way the game was going, they were getting deeper and more spaces were happening. Our fresher players came on and they produced.”

Naismith felt it was a sign of how well Hearts played that their supporters did not get frustrated even though they had to wait for their winning goal.

“If the fans can see what is happening and they understand what you are doing then this is a great place to play,” he said.

“Teams are going to come here and sit and frustrate and try and counter but we continued to play with good pace and the structure was really good.

“We had nearly nine or 10 players in the final third half at times which is important to move the ball and make chances.”