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David Martindale senses Robbie Neilson mind games ahead of Hearts clash

David Martindale File Photo
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Livingston manager David Martindale enjoyed hearing Robbie Neilson saying their stadium was a difficult place to go.

But Martindale also feels the Hearts boss was indulging in mind games ahead of Sunday’s cinch Premiership meeting.

Neilson warned his players to be ready for a different game after coming close to getting a result at Celtic Park and even claimed a trip to West Lothian would be harder than a visit to the east end of Glasgow.

Martindale and his team have prided themselves on making life difficult for opponents in recent years.

“I think we have done that since we came into the Premiership and it’s probably something we can do a wee bit better this season, if I’m honest,” he said.

“It’s nice to hear other teams don’t like coming here, and we know this, because it gives you a wee head start in the game.

“But it’s maybe a wee bit of reverse psychology from Robbie there to be honest, because the form Hearts have been in, it’s going to be a really difficult fixture for us.”

Livingston will be looking to show Hearts what they are all about after a jaded Lions side lost 3-0 at Tynecastle in September after facing both Celtic and Rangers in the previous six days.

“That’s one way of looking at it, but I also think Tynecastle is a difficult place to go,” Martindale said. “I have been to a few games there recently, I was at the St Mirren game and the Dundee United game. When Hearts are as fluid as that, they are a difficult opponent.

“They will probably travel with good numbers, three or four thousand I would imagine, and it’s brilliant when you are coming out into the Tony Macaroni Arena and there’s five or six thousand fans in the stadium. I think it’s a fantastic place to play football.”

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