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Livingston manager David Martindale expects his new signings to get a shock

David Martindale
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Livingston manager David Martindale expects some of his new signings to get a short, sharp shock during their baptism of fire in the cinch Premiership.

Livi open the campaign against champions Rangers in front of 23,000 fans at Ibrox on Saturday and will also face Celtic, Hibernian, Aberdeen and Hearts before the end of September.

Martindale has brought in 10 new signings in a busy summer and believes the new arrivals to Scotland will learn quickly about the demands of the league.

They have already had an introduction to Scottish football after a Covid-hit pre-season with Livi losing to Alloa and drawing with Raith Rovers before edging into the second round of the Premier Sports Cup.

“We have last season’s top four in the first six league games,” Martindale said.

“We have got an incredibly hard start but that’s why we are in football, these are the games we live for.

“Boys coming from down south have got the ability, there’s no question about that, but I think they will be surprised with the ability levels.

“I have said all along there’s a massive disparity between the financials in Scotland and England and ability levels. So a £1,000-a-week player in League Two or National League or League One in England is definitely not a £1,000-a-week player in Scotland.

“So I think they will get a sharp shock about the ability levels.

“And they have done already to be honest. We played Raith Rovers, Alloa, we played Edinburgh City in a bounce game and they were good.

“So they are finding out that the standard of player they are coming up against in lower-league football is a lot higher than they expected.”