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David Martindale expects Livingston to be fighting fit for Betfred Cup final

Celtic v Livingston – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Livingston boss David Martindale is ready to give his physio the week off after predicting a clean bill of health ahead of next Sunday’s Betfred Cup final.

The Lions boss rested skipper Marvin Bartley and regular number one Max Stryjek on Saturday as they took on St Mirren.

He also decided to take no chances with striker Scott Robinson following a recent back strain.

But Martindale fully expects to have the six-goal frontman back in time to face St Johnstone at Hampden next weekend.

And with only long-term absentees Keaghan Jacobs and Alan Lithgow currently ruled out, the Livi boss reckons he and his medical department can put their feet up ahead of the trip to Glasgow.

“Scott should be OK but we will find out more on Monday,” he said. “I could have probably pushed him to play on Saturday but that would have been detrimental.

“Everyone should be available bar Keaghan Jacobs and Alan Lithgow. We will be back to full strength.

“How is Marv? That was tactical – we’ve had two losses in a row before the weekend so we thought if we took Marv out it would give us a chance!

“Nobody will come near the treatment table on Monday. This physio will have nothing to do all week!

“Nobody will be moaning at me – it will be the easiest week of training I have had at the club!”

Livi were held to a 1-1 draw in Paisley as Saints hit back from Conor McCarthy’s freak own goal to claim a point with Cammy MacPherson’s stunning 25-yard strike.

Robby McCrorie came in for just his second start since October, but the on-loan Rangers stopper had no chance of keeping out the Saints midfielder’s powerful drive.

Martindale added: “I have said since day one I have two number ones at the club. We played Celtic last month and Robby went in.

“We never had a great start to the season collectively and I think Robby took a lot of the brunt for that which was unfair.

“I think everyone on the park was making mistakes back then. Max has come in and played really well in that 14-game unbeaten run. I just felt Robby deserved an opportunity and I thought he did extremely well at the weekend.

“I don’t think they had one eye on next week, although it is easy for me to say that as I know I’m going to be in the dugout next week.

“I tried not to speak about the final too much in the build-up to this game.”

St Mirren have now drawn three games in a row and Buddies boss Jim Goodwin admits he needs more of his men to take the initiative like MacPherson.

“It’s something we’re always encouraging the midfielders, and Cammy has that quality,” he said. “He’d had a really good strike just before it where McCrorie makes a half-decent save.

“But the goal is really well worked with a good ball in to Jon Obika, who then does well to flick it round to Cammy who then produces a fantastic finish on his weaker foot.

“We probably just didn’t do that enough and that’s where the frustration comes from. If we’d played a little bit better we could have won it.”