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Craig Sibbald: Gary Holt can be proud of his Livingston legacy

Livingston Press Conference – Fir Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Midfielder Craig Sibbald insists former boss Gary Holt can be proud of his Lions legacy – even if Livingston’s players cannot afford to dwell on the past.

Sibbald, 25, worked under Holt at Falkirk as a fresh-faced teenager before becoming a first-team regular during his two-year stint in charge at Livi that ended on November 26.

And he revealed that there were some raw emotions when Holt – who guided the club to a fifth-placed finish in the Premiership last term – said goodbye for the last time.

Sibbald said: “Gary came and spoke to us all on Thursday and said his goodbyes. I text him afterwards too, but we all know this is the reality of football and you have to carry on.

“He can be proud of what he achieved here.

“This season has been difficult and he felt that it was time to go – but he’s done brilliantly here and all the boys thanked him.

“It was a bit emotional on Thursday but a lot of boys have been through this before and you have to just get on with it.”

However, David Martindale’s Livingston showed no ill-effects from a dramatic week on Saturday as they swept Ayr United aside 4-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup.

A Joe Chalmers own goal, a Jack Fitzwater brace and a fine low strike from former Ayr midfielder Alan Forrest did the damage in a devastating first-half and Sibbald is adamant the triumph cannot be another false dawn ahead of the league visit of Dundee United.

He added: “That was four goals and it was a good performance so we need to carry that into the league now.

“We need to pick up points and get up that league now.”

Meanwhile, Ayr boss Mark Kerr says he has no regrets about his approach after setting his side out to go toe-to-toe with their Premiership opponents.

Given all the goals conceded came via relatively-basic deliveries into the box, he contends that seeking to shut up shop would not have brought any more joy.

He said: “If we’d wanted to go defensive and just soak up pressure then we could have done that.

“But it wouldn’t have been a different outcome because we didn’t deal with the basics.”