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Livingston boss David Martindale keen to maintain momentum against Celtic

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

David Martindale stressed the importance of momentum as he looks for Livingston to keep their impressive nine-game unbeaten run going against Celtic on Wednesday night.

The West Lothian side were more than worth their point at Parkhead in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against the reigning champions, who were weakened by the loss of 13 players to coronavirus issues.

Martindale, who has won eight and drawn one since he stepped up from assistant to take over from Gary Holt, assessed the return Scottish Premiership fixture at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

He said: “Yes, momentum is key. It is really easy to manage when you are winning game of football.

“Problems take care of themselves and the positivity is shining through.

“Momentum is massive and winning games obviously builds on that momentum. The boys are always confident at home.

“When you are playing the Old Firm away from home it is little a bit different.

“But the Old Firm coming to Livingston, it is not a secret they don’t like the artificial park and we train on it every day.

“So yes, the boys are confident going into the game.

“I have momentum on my side but Celtic still have a fantastic squad of individual players.”

The Hoops had to utilise their squad after 13 players, as well as boss Neil Lennon and assistant John Kennedy, had to self-isolate as close contacts after Christopher Jullien tested positive for Covid-19 following the controversial mid-season training camp in Dubai.

All of those who had to self-isolate – aside from one player who was confirmed as positive on Monday – will be available for Wednesday.

Martindale said: “The last time they had all their players available was the Old Firm game (January 2).

“They played the 4-4-2 diamond and I thought they were fantastic in that game albeit they never came out on the right side of the result.

“I think it will be a similar team that plays on Wednesday night.

“It will be a tough night and a lot tougher than the Celtic team they played at Parkhead.

“Seven of the players who played against us on Saturday started in the Old Firm game.

“So I said to the boys that there is a fresh batch of players coming in on Wednesday night but we have nothing to fear.”