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No ‘big overhaul’ behind Livingston revival, insists Nicky Devlin

Rangers v Livingston – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Livingston’s turnaround in results has been dramatic since David Martindale took charge but Lions full-back Nicky Devlin claims they have not had to change much.

Livi have won all six matches since Martindale stepped up to take the reins after Gary Holt resigned in the wake of a defeat by St Mirren.

The run has seen the club double their Scottish Premiership points tally and reach the Betfred Cup semi-finals.

But Devlin said ahead of Wednesday’s visit of Aberdeen: “We knew there wasn’t much we had to change.

“We weren’t getting the rub of the green at times and that happens when you are down the bottom, you don’t get a decision here or there, or a wee bit of luck.

“The St Mirren game here, they scored from a deflected goal from a corner.

“We knew we didn’t have to change much, it wasn’t going to take a big overhaul to get us going.

“You have seen that, the performances haven’t been too dissimilar to what they were at the start, but now we are picking up points.”

Livi’s latest win came after a fightback at Kilmarnock on Boxing Day after the hosts took the lead from the spot when Devlin was penalised for handball.

The decision left Devlin rueing the harshness of the recently updated handball rule.

“Kevin Clancy, the referee, said to me it was to do with the new rule,” Devlin said.

“It hit my elbow and it probably was stopping the ball from going in, so I don’t really think the referee had much choice in the end with the rules the way they are.

“From my point of view, I thought I was less than two yards away from him and I slipped on to the ground, and it wasn’t as if I was making myself bigger. My arms were beside my stomach.”

Devlin hopes something is done to relax the regulations, saying: “Even if it’s just to do with close proximity. (Kirk) Broadfoot was two yards away and hit the ball fairly hard. I couldn’t really do much.

“Listen, it didn’t really affect us. If anything it probably kicked us on in the end.”