Soccer

David Martindale counting on big-game ‘buzz’ against in-form Rangers

David Martindale’s Livingston host Rangers on Sunday (Robert Perry/PA)
David Martindale’s Livingston host Rangers on Sunday (Robert Perry/PA) David Martindale’s Livingston host Rangers on Sunday (Robert Perry/PA)

Livingston manager David Martindale is hoping his struggling Livingston team can rise to the occasion and find a way of halting a Rangers side he feels are “in a good place” under new boss Philippe Clement.

The Ibrox team head to the Tony Macaroni Arena on Sunday in buoyant mood after winning five and drawing one of their six matches since the Belgian replaced Michael Beale last month.

“They’re unbeaten so that tells you everything you need to know,” said Martindale when asked what he has made of Rangers under Clement.

“He’s gone in and got a good start so that then breeds a bit of momentum, which breeds self-confidence and self-esteem in the players, so ultimately you’re probably getting better performances from the players.

“I think he’s done a very good job and they’re in a good place as a club.”

While Rangers have enjoyed a resurgence since their managerial change, Livingston have lost their last four matches to slip towards the foot of the cinch Premiership. Martindale hopes the big-game “buzz” can help them get back on track this weekend.

“You’re at home and you’ve got the opportunity to go and pick up three points against one of the biggest clubs in the league,” said the Lions boss.

“When either of the Old Firm come along to the Tony Mac, there’s always a buzz and then when you bring in Sky (TV) there’s an extra buzz about the game.

“It kind of lifts the atmosphere throughout the training week and you probably find the players are a wee bit more at it and there are not as many players in the physio’s room in the lead-up to the game.

“It brings a different kind of matchday atmosphere.”