Livingston 2 St Johnstone 1: Martindale says Lions fight back has already started and win creates positive energy for next season

By Ian Steven

Livingston manager David Martindale assured Lions fans the club have already started preparing for an assault on the Championship and hailed two lates goals from Christian Montano and Andrew Shinnie in their win over St Johnstone as evidence that the fight back has already begun.

Craig Levein's Saints looked to have kept the pressure on fellow playoffs battlers Ross County early on as superb header from Stevie May set up Adama Sidebeh for a simple finish.

However, The Lions rolled up their sleeves and fought back in the second half with a back post finish from Montano to level the tie before Shinnie popped up in injury time to blast home the winner for the team relegated from the Premiership last week.

“We are putting plans in place for next season,” Martindale stated. “It is important to pick up as many points as we can going into next season. It is important to create some positive energy in the building and some positively momentum.

"I find it difficult myself celebrating a win in the league after we had been relegated. I said I find it hard to clap the fans. The fans were cheering. I had so much to thank them for because it is easy to be negative today. The majority of the fans helped us out today. We won the game and again, the majority of the fans were delighted we won the game.”

The turnaround also left Martindale pleased with his tactical tinkering. He added: “The two substitutes had a huge impact on the game and as a manager, you want that to happen. The two of them had a huge impact on the game.

"“I'll be really honest, at the start of the game we looked like a team who had just been relegated. I never saw that in training to be honest. St Johnstone started the game like a team fighting for their lives. And proabably a little unfortunate to be 1-0 down. 20-25 minutes in the game and we settled down.

"From that point, we were trying to build the game and had good entries into the box. In the second half, we deserved a goal. A little bit fortunate with Nicky Clarke's chance. Again, we work a perfect second goal ourselves.

“For me, the players have got to take huge credit. At the start of the game, not good enough. We started like a team that had just been relegated. That is the fine margins of the games.

"I was talking to Craig. We were fortunate to be here sitting after the game winning 2-1. That is football. The amount of times I have came out on the flipside of that during the season, there is nothing in the game.

"Nicky Clark has a great chance on his left foot, put it past the post and we go up the patch and score the winner. It is a illogical and irrational, and you don't always get what you deserve. I think we deserve the three points, but I admit we got lucky in the game. The players have to take huge credit. The fans, hopefully it gives them something to cheer about."