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Holt hopes for more from Livingston after win at Hamilton

Livingston manager Gary Holt wants to see his squad kick on in the second half of the season, believing they are in better shape than this time last year.

The West Lothian side lost key players Craig Halkett and Declan Gallagher in the summer but have performed well so far this term to earn a place in the top half of the Ladbrokes Premiership table.

Holt was coy on their chances of staying there but was confident his squad would only get better with time.

He said: “I’m delighted with where we’re at. It’s building blocks for where we want to go.

“Last year we tapered off for one reason or another. Agents got in players’ ears and pre-contracts were signed.

“But I feel this year we’ve got better players who can kick on in the second half of the season.

“That’s been shown with the two games we’ve had this week. And I think we’re only going to get better.”

Holt praised full-backs Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Jack McMillan for their roles in Saturday’s 4-2 win away to Hamilton.

McMillan set up Taylor-Sinclair for Livingston’s second goal and their manager added: “I’m delighted for Aaron as he hadn’t played since St Mirren away (last month) because of a hamstring injury.

“It’s not been easy with no reserve games to get up to speed. So it shows the work we’ve been doing with him and the work he’s been doing.

“I think he could have played on Saturday in his slippers with a cigar as he was that comfortable. And I don’t think he’ll get an easier goal than that one.

“We’ve had to work on certain aspects of Jack’s fitness levels and dealing with things in the lead-up to games. It’s all new to him. But he was excellent, as was the whole backline. They stood up to the test and I’m delighted.”

Hamilton boss Brian Rice confirmed it was referee Bobby Madden who gave a penalty against his team for handball rather than his assistant.

He said: “It was a big decision at a big time but I’m not here to complain about referees. Bobby Madden is a top-class ref and a top-class man.

“He calls it as he sees it. I asked the linesman what he gave it for and he said he didn’t know, Bobby gave it.”