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David Martindale set to go back into transfer market as Livingston struggle

Livingston v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Tony Macaroni Arena
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Livingston manager David Martindale is set to go back into the transfer market amid ongoing fitness issues and difficulties getting new signings up to speed.

Both Jack McMillan and Jaze Kabia face about eight weeks out with knee injuries suffered during last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat by Rangers, which Livi ended up playing with 10 men after the latter hobbled off.

Livingston have had major Covid-19 disruption during pre-season with Josh Mullin missing at Ibrox and others working their way back up to fitness after being hit by the virus.

Andrew Shinnie and Jackson Longridge also missed the Rangers game with minor injuries, while some of Martindale’s new signings are still getting to grips with the demands of Scottish top-flight football.

“The boys who are coming back from Covid are getting thrown into the deep end a bit, so they are picking up a few niggles themselves,” Martindale said ahead of Sunday’s cinch Premiership visit of Aberdeen.

“It’s just something we are going to have to manage as a squad.

“It makes you heavily reliant on 13 to 14 players and in the Premiership I think that’s really difficult putting that on those players.

“So I am probably going to be looking at trying to bring one or two more in, I would imagine.

“At one point we had 24 players and that’s probably me down to the bare 17 to 18.

“We will have a wee look at the market and see what’s available.

“And there are boys who have not been involved in squads of late who are probably chapping at my door and asking to go out on loan and get more game time.

“What I’m finding is boys who have come up from England have missed a pre-season with us.

“Young Adam (Lewis) and Cristian Montano missed most of pre-season because they came in with knocks, Tom Parkes missed pre-season due to Covid, and Andrew Shinnie never did much of a pre-season.

“We are now right in the thick of it and there’s no middle ground. Our training is high intensity and quite difficult on a daily basis, so I am finding their bodies are still adjusting to the aggression and physicality.

“It’s getting these boys up to speed as quickly as possible but also being aware that they are probably not as robust as some of the players at this moment in time.

“I have 75 per cent of a squad who need that and are used to that so it’s very difficult trying to bridge that gap. We have probably got four or five niggles and it’s boys who have not played Scottish football.

“We were at Ibrox last weekend and this weekend we have Aberdeen so we cannot play at 75 per cent, we have to be at 100 per cent.”