Gary Holt lavished praise on Lyndon Dykes after the striker became the first Livingston player to score a top-flight hat-trick in the 4-0 thrashing of Ross County.
Livi took full advantage of a County team that had been decimated by a winter sickness bug this week.
Even though the visitors were only forced into three changes to their line-up in the end, the Staggies were not able to put up a competitive performance.
Rickie Lamie put Livingston ahead in the 31st minute before Dykes got on the scoresheet just before the break.
The Australian then grabbed a perfect hat-trick with another two goals after the break.
Holt said: “Dykes’ first goal was really good, he peeled off well and knew the space was there. His header was brilliant as well for the second.
“I’ve seen Lyndon progress, he told me he couldn’t head a ball but that’s two headers he’s scored in three games, so he’s doing something right.
“He’s certainly growing into the role of being the focal point in the team.
“At Queen of the South, Stephen Dobbie was the focal point and Dykes was the battering ram, but he’s now growing into the role of being the focal point in our team.
“It’s been a big learning curve for him and responsibility, but he’s certainly taking it on with his performances and goals.
“Players have got a value and if they’re playing well someone will want them. I don’t worry about it because it has to be for the best of our club and he knows that.
“He just wants to get his head down and play, it’s his first year at this level and he’s embracing it.”
Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson refused to use the Dingwall side’s nightmare preparation for the game as a reason for the toothless performance.
He said: “It was a tough afternoon for us. It was certainly not what we were wanting. We weren’t good enough, we didn’t compete enough.
“It’s the end of what has been a difficult week, we’ll just need to take this one on the chin, I’m afraid.
“We’re not going to use the sickness bug as an excuse.
“It was a difficult week. We haven’t trained, the boys were kept away from the pitch so we could try and compete today.
“We felt we had enough to come and do that, so you will certainly not get Stuart Kettlewell or I using the week we had as an excuse.
“Livingston took full advantage of us not being on our game.”
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