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David Martindale: Stephen Robinson was a victim of his own success

Livingston v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Tony Macaroni Arena
(Image credit: Willie Vass)

David Martindale was reminded of the volatility of football management when Stephen Robinson resigned as Motherwell manager on Thursday morning.

The Northern Irishman stepped down after Wednesday’s 2-0 home defeat by Kilmarnock left the Steelmen without a win in nine games and in 10th place in the Scottish Premiership, two points above bottom club Hamilton, who they play on Saturday.

Martindale has won all six matches since stepping up from assistant to take the reins at Livingston after Gary Holt resigned in the wake of a defeat by St Mirren.

However, ahead of the trip to Hibernian on Saturday, he said of his new career: “Only one of two things happen, you leave through being successful, or you leave through being unsuccessful. Ultimately that is modern day management, isn’t it?

“You could say Stephen has been a wee bit of a victim of his own success.

“He got to cup finals, got into Europe last year. It is horrible (to see him go). Nobody would have seen him resigning to be honest.

“My staff were at the Motherwell game last night and I was at the Hibs game.

“They said there wasn’t a lot in the game, although they were defeated, you could see what Motherwell were trying to do. So I don’t think he was far away.

“They were on the wrong side of results. But it is a fine line in football.”

Livi’s game against Aberdeen on Wednesday was called off due to frost on the Tony Macaroni Arena pitch and Martindale watched Hibs lose 2-0 at home to struggling Ross County later in the day.

“I was a wee bit surprised at the result,” he said.

“I would be telling lies if I said I thought Ross County were going to come down and win 2-0.

“But I thought Ross County played extremely well. Hibs weren’t quite at it and probably on the balance of play Ross County deserved the three points.

“I would love for Hibs to have two games in a row like that but I am sure Jack Ross will have them up for it on Saturday and I have no doubt the players will react extremely well to a negative, trying to turn it into a positive.

“But it is important to try and keep the momentum going.

“Obviously we had done all our preparation for the (Aberdeen) game and you become a wee bit deflated when you realise the game is off.

“But the good thing is you don’t have a week to wait for another game, we have a game in a couple of days’ time which softens the blow.”