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David Martindale says Livingston still confident as St Mirren extend winless run

David Martindale File Photo
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

David Martindale insists Livingston do not have a confidence issue ahead of next weekend’s Betfred Cup final.

The Lions are preparing to face St Johnstone at Hampden next Sunday but their was no morale-booster for them in Paisley as they were held to a 1-1 draw by St Mirren.

Livi edged out the Buddies in the semi-finals as part of an impressive 14-game unbeaten run following Martindale’s elevation to manager.

But they have now gone three games without a win after backing-up defeats to St Johnstone and Dundee United with a frustrating stalemate at the wind-swept SMISA Stadium.

However, Martindale insists his side will march into next weekend’s showpiece clash with their heads held high despite dropping another two points.

He said: “If I was going into this game 17 games unbeaten I would still just say that because it’s a national final, form goes out the window.

“Maybe it helps confidence but we’ve not been playing with low confidence.

“It’s Livingston and we are going to lose games of football in the Premiership. It’s how you deal with adversity that you learn more.

“The boys will be brand new.”

Livi took the lead after eight minutes in freak circumstances as Saints defender Richard Tait’s head bounced off team-mate Conor McCarthy, with the ricochet flying into Jak Alnwick’s net.

But they could not hold onto the lead and were pegged back on the half-hour mark by Cammy MacPherson’s 25-yard screamer.

Conditions made the second half a non-event and Martindale admits he will be happy to never see the game again.

“The conditions were difficult and it was so hard to get out of our half with the wind in the first half,” he said.

“I think it is just a game to forget to be honest. It was not one for the purists.

“We just forget about it and move on. The weather was just not conducive to good football.”

Jim Goodwin also blamed the wicked weather for the poor fair on show as his team missed the chance to cut the gap on Livi in fifth to just two points.

“It was probably a fair point over the piece but it was a really frustrating afternoon,” he said.

“I’m disappointed with our overall performance to be honest. In the first half we did well with the wind at our backs and we played some half-decent football and created some opportunities.

“But we didn’t take advantage of the wind enough or test the goalkeeper enough. In the second half it’s difficult as you’re playing into that strong wind and you can’t get out.

“It’s another point on the board and we’re still in pole position for that sixth spot. But that’s three draws on the spin that we’re extremely disappointed about.

“We could have closed the gap to Livingston today to two points so it feels like a missed opportunity.

“We’re going through a little tough patch at the minute in terms of getting that win that we so desperately need.”