Livingston defender Alan Lithgow does not believe they will struggle without the element of surprise.
Livi made a flying start to life in the top flight after Gary Holt took over last season and secured their Ladbrokes Premiership status comfortably before finishing ninth.
Holt’s side begin their league campaign on Saturday against Motherwell, who they played five times last term.
And while Lithgow accepts their second season in the Premiership might be more difficult, he feels they can adapt.
“It might be (more difficult) but that’s up to us to change our game a wee bit,” the centre-back said. “We have put things in place that if things don’t work out we can play a certain way and change it.
“And to be honest after the first couple of games of the season, teams knew how we were going to play. But they still couldn’t do anything about it, really.
“It’s just putting pressure on other teams and making teams defend. Some teams can handle it better than others but it’s just the relentless pressure we put teams under, I think they struggle with it.”
Lithgow has taken over as captain following the departure of Craig Halkett to Hearts. The other third of their successful three-pronged central defence, Declan Gallagher, will line up against his former club for Motherwell on Saturday while goalkeeper Liam Kelly left for QPR.
But Lithgow has been impressed with new defenders Nicky Devlin and Cece Pepe while Matija Sarkic and Ross Stewart are vying for the goalkeeper’s jersey.
“It’s three big players from the back that are missing but I have every confidence in the players we have got now to replicate what we did last year,” Lithgow said.
“I don’t feel pressure so much because the boys who are going to come into those positions are experienced. They know the game.
“I will do my best to help as much as possible and communicate and organise as much as I can. But the boys who are coming in are experienced themselves so they know what’s required.”
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