David Martindale insists he will not get carried away despite Livingston finally ending their long wait for a cinch Premiership victory against St Mirren.

Tete Yengi’s goal in added time of the first half was enough for the Lions to claim their first win in 18 league matches.

Livi have now cut the gap between themselves and Ross County to just three points, with the teams set to face each other in Dingwall next Saturday.

“I am happy for the group,” he said. “The group has to take massive credit and I am delighted for them.

“When you are in an adverse situation and every week that hole gets bigger, there is a lot of anxiety and stress.

“The squad and staff have stayed buoyant – they have always been positive and I am delighted for them.”

The Livi boss was thrilled by the display of his goalkeeper Shamal George, who kept out Mikael Mandron’s late penalty to secure all three points.

George has been in and out of the team since the arrival of Michael McGovern last month, but showed his quality in a man-of-the-match performance against Saints.

“Michael McGovern has been a big turning point for Shamal,” Martindale added.

“Shamal has all the ability in the world, he is a great kid, trains impeccably well and I think he needed taken out his comfort zone.

“Michael coming in has done that, it has shown Shamal that if he’s not bang at it in games then he’s probably going to get dropped.

“I thought he was the best player on the park – hopefully that’s him kicked on a bit.”

Assistant boss Diarmuid O’Carroll praised what he beleived was a “brilliant” display by St Mirren, despite falling to defeat at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

The Buddies threw everything at the Livingston goal in the second half as they looked to drag themselves back into the game.

“I thought we were brilliant, it was just one of those days in front of goal,” O’Carroll said.

“We came here with a gameplan, we wanted to get the ball down and play, try create chances, put the ball into the box and sustain attacks – they did that to the letter.

“I think on any other day we win that game based on chances, but credit to Livingston, they battled, they fought and it shows you that they are right there for Davie.”

O’Carroll confirmed that Saints boss Stephen Robinson had been involved in a disagreement with a supporter after the full-time whistle.

Robinson appeared to be led away by Alex Gogic, and his number two insists the gaffer will always stand up for his players.

“I did see it. People are passionate about the game, there’s passion from our side,” he added.

“From a fans’ perspective, you come, you pay your money and you obviously want your team to win.

“We as a collective always go over (to the fans), whether we win, lose or draw.

“People pay their money and they can say what they want – but from our point of view, we can’t ask for much more of them.”

Derek McInnes urged his players to savour their late 1-0 victory over Livingston after suffering for the majority of a difficult encounter.

Marley Watkins struck a crucial winner with two minutes left after Premiership strugglers Livi had frustrated their hosts for much the evening.

A lack of composure in front of goal was to prove costly for David Martindale’s side as they were punished late on, allowing Kilmarnock to claim their first win of 2024 and strengthen their grip on fourth place in the table.

“We’re not going to be in a rush to watch the game back again, but a late winner is always so welcome – sometimes they are the best ones,” said McInnes.

“I told the players to enjoy it because it wasn’t enjoyable – but enjoy winning the game.

“We struggled for any fluency, we gave the ball away, chose the wrong option and lacked confidence – which was strange as we’d only lost one in 10.

“We’ll take that but we need to learn from it, as the season goes on there will be a little bit more pressure on each game.”

McInnes was especially pleased at the impact of his substitutes, who all played a vital role in turning the game in Killie’s favour.

The home side were much improved after half-time when the Rugby Park boss turned to his bench.

The changes paid dividends as Matty Kennedy picked out fellow sub Kevin van Veen to nod the ball into Watkins’ path for the winner.

“Half-time came at the right time and the subs that we made definitely helped us,” he added.

“We knew a point wasn’t really going to help us too much for what we’re trying to do. We tried to chase the game a bit.

“Van Veen’s quality showed, even just a few touches, none more so than the goal — it’s a brilliant win for us and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Livi boss Martindale was disappointed as his side were let down by a lack of composure in front of goal.

The Lions are now 17 Premiership games without a win and sit six points adrift at the foot of the table.

“I thought defensively we were very, very good in the shape – we defended very well,” he said.

“I felt we had the better chances in the game, I felt tonight was probably more on the offensive players at the club if I’m being brutally honest.

“I don’t believe performances alone are enough to make it turn but there are very few performances that I’ve came in worried.

“I’m frustrated for the players more so than me because I can feel the anxiety and frustration in the changing room.”

David Carson accepted Livingston’s perilous position in the cinch Premiership with confidence when he opted for a move to the top-flight.

The 28-year-old midfielder departed cinch Championship side Inverness for the Lions on an 18-month contract last week after five years at the Highland club.

The Newcastle-born player made his debut in the 3-0 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday which left David Martindale’s side without a league win in their last 16 attempts and six points behind second-bottom Ross County having played two games more.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s game against fourth-placed Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, where the in-form home team have lost only once in 10 games in all competitions, Carson conceded that some people may have questioned his decision to join a club whose Premiership future is fraught.

He said: “I agree, people will look at it like that but I am a player, I know the situation we are in and there is still a lot of football to play.

“I am coming in with the aim, like everyone else at this club, to keep us in the Premiership. That’s what I have come to do.

“As a player you always want to play at the highest level you can and there was an opportunity for me to do that.

“First and foremost it was that, I wanted to test myself and when I spoke to the manager it was a positive chat.

“I know the situation that we are in but we can affect that and hopefully we can start to pick up points.

“There is absolutely a lot of confidence. There are a lot of games that we can go and attack and try to pick up points.

“Saturday was difficult but we have to let that pass, it is done. We were well in the game before the first game.

“We have to move on to Wednesday night which is a big game for us.

“We can’t concentrate too much on what other people are doing, we have to go in there with a game plan and see if that gets us some points.

“We are confident. There is a good group of lads, I have seen that in training already. There is some real quality in there so why not start a good run on Wednesday?”

David Martindale admitted his interest in signing Inverness midfielder David Carson after Livingston came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Ross County at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Simon Murray gave the Staggies the lead after 28 minutes but that was cancelled out by Livi midfielder Scott Pittman just before the break.

Murray fired in a second in the 85th minute but Livi substitute Dan MacKay levelled with a header three minutes later for a deserved point.

The Lions have gone 15 league games without a win and remain six points adrift of second-bottom County in the table having played two games more than the Staggies.

Asked about Carson, Martindale said: “I’ve spoken to a few. Maybe it is something we will try to pursue.

“But the focus was the game today, so I’ve not really been that active on it but he is someone we have spoken to.”

On the game, Martindale added: “It was frustrating. I sound like a lunatic but there’s been a lot of good performances over the last five or six weeks.

“It’s hard to be critical of a lot of the players on the park. Offensively we were very good.

“We had a lot of chances and we have to hit the target.

“We created plenty but the defending is nowhere near the levels we need.

“We did show character to come back twice. We were nervous in the first half but once they scored, that sparked us into life.

“We got a foothold in the game. Then the boys dug in and got us back to 2-2 and showed huge character.

“The goals we’re losing at this level is extremely worrying.”

Derek Adams had six January signings playing again and will look to add one, possibly two more to his squad before the transfer window closes, although he does not envisage losing midfielder Yan Dhanda early to Hearts.

The midfielder has reportedly agreed a pre-contract with the Gorgie club but the County boss does not believe Hearts will pay a fee to take him to Tynecastle in this window.

Adams said: “Well unless Hearts were able to pay money and the club thought it was acceptable. I wouldn’t want to lose him between now and the end of the season.

“But if a club comes up with the money that that club accepts, then you can’t do anything about that.

“But it looks like it’s highly unlikely because Hearts have said they’ve got no money to spend.

“We’ll look to do one more, possibly two by the window finishing. I’d like to do two. It might not happen, but we’ll hopefully do one.”

David Martindale told his Livingston players to take responsibility for their predicament as he labelled their first-half defending “shambolic” following a 3-1 defeat by Motherwell.

Theo Bair scored twice and set up another for Blair Spittal inside 35 minutes, with Scott Pittman pulling one back midway through the half.

Livi pushed for a lifeline after the break but never really troubled their former goalkeeper Liam Kelly as they slipped further adrift at the foot of the cinch Premiership.

Their visit to Fir Park provided a chance to cut the gap at the bottom to one point but they are now six behind Ross County, who have two games in hand.

“The first-half performance, I never saw it coming,” Martindale said. “It was well below the standard expected of Livingston players.

“They should probably have been three up before they scored. Our defending was shocking. It was shambolic. And it comes from the individuals on the park.

“I spoke to the players, we can talk about game plans, tactics, formations, it’s all bulls*** if you don’t do your one-v-one jobs properly.

“As a defensive unit, the individual errors we made in the first half were terrible.

“We get ourselves back in the game, and we shouldn’t have been anywhere the game, and we shoot ourselves in the foot again with a mistake. It gives us a mountain to climb.”

Motherwell had not won in 15 games but started brightly to leave Livi with two points from 12 matches since beating the Steelmen in West Lothian.

Martindale added: “I have sat in numerous press conferences and tried to take the pressure off the players and be positive. I don’t feel that after today’s game.

“Players need to start taking a bit more responsibility. It’s too easy in modern-day football – sack the manager, sack the manager.

“What about the players? They now need to start taking responsibility.

“I tried to take the pressure off them but we are in a relegation battle now and that first-half performance was diabolical. Second half was a bit better but not much.”

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell praised his players for their approach after they doubled their tally of first-half league goals for the season.

“Everyone has spoken about the poor run we have been on and you need to show massive character to get yourself out of that,” said Kettlewell, whose side moved up to eighth.

“I thought the first half, especially the start to the game, was indicative of where we were and what the players were pouring into the game.

“Everyone with that one cause, to break the cycle and give ourselves a chance to move up the table

“The only way we could do that was defend better, switch on better, and then from my side of things it was very purposeful in going with three strikers, and going with mobility at the top end of the pitch where we felt we could try and expose Livingston. We got joy from it.

“Second half wasn’t pretty but you know Livingston are going to fight for their cause and you know they are going to go straight up to the striker.

“So what you have to do is defend against that and the three points were always going to be the most important thing.”

Livingston manager David Martindale was left ruing his best side’s chance falling to defender Mikey Devlin as they fought out a goalless draw with St Johnstone.

However, the Lions boss insists he was “fairly happy” with elements of his side’s display despite remaining rooted to the foot of the cinch Premiership.

Midfielder Scott Pittman and striker Bruce Anderson also passed up decent opportunities in attack before skipper Devlin had the chance to snatch a dramatic late victory.

The draw leaves the Almondvale men without a win in 11 games and four points adrift at the bottom.

Martindale said: “I thought we were the ones kicking on to try and get the winner.

“We got info into the players at half-time and they probably created the best three or four chances of the game.

“You look at Pittman’s, he has to do better. Bruce had one at the keeper’s right-hand post; Mick [Devlin] again – don’t hit the target.

“When I look at the chances created I thought we were the team going out in the second half.”

On Devlin’s late miss, Martindale added: “I thought why is it falling to Mick?

“It’s difficult. Mick’s is a really good chance, but it’s falling to a centre-back in the penalty box. I think Pittman’s is probably the best chance.

“I think there needs to be a bit of individual responsibility on the offensive players, I think they have to be a wee bit more brave and show more composure in the opponents’ box.

“I don’t want to sound delusional – we’re sitting bottom of the league – but I was fairly happy with some of the performances we’ve had.

“Tonight, we had two or three good opportunities to take something from the game and don’t hit the target.”

Meanwhile, St Johnstone boss Craig Levein reckons the “pressure” got to both teams in the stalemate.

The Saints had the ball in the net with a Luke Robinson strike, but it was ruled out for offside.

There was little in the way of quality as Levein’s outfit stayed in ninth in the Premiership table and extended their lead over Motherwell in second bottom to three points.

He said: “It was two teams playing safe football. In the second half, I thought we were a bit better, but it was all too safe for my liking.

“We’ve done enough in the last seven games where we’ve had good 15, 30-minute spells and controlled the game.

“But we played the safe ball too many times tonight, and so did Livingston.

“I think subconsciously, if you keep the gap [to the bottom] then that can feel better than losing.

“Maybe both teams had that idea in their heads. It’s not something we’d spoken about, but I’ve been there 100 times and know what it feels like.

“The pressure has been on for all the wrong reasons and I think that’s what we saw tonight. It looked to be a reasonable chance [for Devlin].

“We had Luke’s goal offside too and Nicky had a chance. I’d like to be talking about more passages of good play, but I’m struggling to.”

David Martindale was left to rue an injury to Sean Kelly as Livingston missed a penalty in Saturday’s goalless cinch Premiership draw with Kilmarnock.

The Premiership’s bottom side failed to win for an eighth-consecutive match but picked up their first point since the victory over Motherwell on October 7.

It could have been a better day for the Lions but Bruce Anderson was guilty of missing a second-half spot-kick.

Kelly is the team’s regular taker but had to be replaced at half-time after sustaining a hamstring problem.

Martindale said: “Sean came in at half-time and said he felt his hamstring – he would have taken the penalty.

“Bruce grabbed it but your the number nine at a football club, you should be wanting to take penalties.

“Sean had missed a couple previously but I think he’d scored his last three. Sean would 100 per cent have taken it.

“We get the opportunity from 12 yards and I’m disappointed. I spoke to wee Brucey and he’s gutted.

“The wee guy lives and breathes scoring goals. You have to be disappointed he’s not hit the target, if the keeper saves it you take your hat off.

“It really sums the game up.

“To be fair, wee Brucey missed his last penalty. Your number nine is on the park so crack on.

“When you’re going through periods that we’re going through at this point, it seems that everyone is going against you.”

Martindale’s side remain five points adrift at the foot of the table and the Livi manager admitted the missed penalty left a bitter taste after recent struggles.

He added: “I thought it had nil-nil written all over it, it was one of those games.

“The fans probably didn’t realise how strong the wind was. We found it difficult to get out in the first half. They bombarded our box and it was really difficult to get any distance on the ball.

“Fair play to the players because I thought they defended the 18-yard box well.

“It’s hard. I was sitting here last week and was probably a wee bit more positive in terms of the performance. I thought we were unlucky.

“But this week after the game in the changing room there is probably a bit more adversity because you think you had those three points in the bag from 12 yards.

“Albeit we’ve stopped the run of defeats, got a clean sheet and got a point.”

Meanwhile, Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes insisted Livingston defender Mikey Devlin should have seen red for a second-half challenge on Danny Armstrong.

Devlin was booked for the foul but McInnes feels VAR should have intervened.

He said: “It’s a terrible tackle. I don’t know why (referee) Willie (Collum) has not been asked to go to the screen.

“He (Armstrong) had to come off with the injury. It’s a scissors tackle, something we are continually told is to go out the game.

“No one wants to see red cards but it’s a terrible challenge. It’s a nasty challenge and for me it should have been a red card.

“He was labouring after it, he was hurt. If you see the tackle again, you’ll see why he was hurt.

“If Willie gives a red there, VAR isn’t getting involved to say it’s not a red. I think it is a red.”

David Martindale is adamant he is perfectly content with Livingston’s decision to reject an approach from St Johnstone regarding their managerial vacancy.

The Perth club requested permission to speak to the 49-year-old about the possibility of replacing the sacked Steven MacLean earlier this week but the Lions released a statement on Tuesday explaining that they would not be allowing their boss to talk to Saints.

Martindale, addressing the situation after Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat away to Hearts, said: “The speculation honestly doesn’t bother me. I was in with (chief executive) Dave Black for about three minutes.

“I said ‘what do you want to do? Do you want to keep me at the club or do you want me to go and speak to St Johnstone?’ He said ‘we want to keep you at the club’. I said ‘perfect’ and I went back out to take training.

“There’s not a lot more to it. I’ve said before, the day I leave Livingston, it will be Livingston’s decision, whether that’s through a negative or a positive. I believe the people at the club have my best interests at heart also.

“Livingston changed my life by giving me an opportunity to be a manager in the Premiership and I’ll never ever forget that.”

Martindale’s team suffered a third straight defeat after losing to Hearts following a 79th-minute goal from substitute Kenneth Vargas.

Jambos boss Steven Naismith praised his side for keeping their composure as they halted a run of three games without a win to climb from the bottom six back up to fourth in the table ahead of their Viaplay Cup semi-final against Rangers on Sunday.

“The biggest and most pleasing thing for me is the patience we showed,” he said. “I’ve been here many a time when it gets desperate and you’re firing long balls in and shooting from 40 yards.

“But there was real control. We were unfortunate not to go in a goal or two up at half-time and that can lead to players being desperate or making the wrong choice but we continued to do the same stuff, create chances and we got our rewards in the end.

“I was pretty comfortable. You can hope you will get the goal but I was quite confident the way the game was going, they were getting deeper and more spaces were happening. Our fresher players came on and they produced.”

Naismith felt it was a sign of how well Hearts played that their supporters did not get frustrated even though they had to wait for their winning goal.

“If the fans can see what is happening and they understand what you are doing then this is a great place to play,” he said.

“Teams are going to come here and sit and frustrate and try and counter but we continued to play with good pace and the structure was really good.

“We had nearly nine or 10 players in the final third half at times which is important to move the ball and make chances.”

Livingston have rejected an approach from St Johnstone to speak to David Martindale about their managerial vacancy.

The Lions boss emerged as the early front-runner to replace Steven MacLean, who was sacked by the Perth club on Sunday with the team bottom of the cinch Premiership after no wins from their opening nine games.

Martindale refused to be drawn on speculation linking him with the McDiarmid Park job when he was asked about it at his media briefing on Monday to preview Wednesday’s match away to Hearts.

However, Saints made their move for the Livi manager later that day, only to be rebuffed by the West Lothian club.

Lions chief executive Dave Black moved to clarify the situation on Tuesday evening.

“Following recent speculation over the past 48 hours regarding men’s first-team manager David Martindale, I was keen to provide supporters with an update,” said Black in a statement released on the club’s website.

“Yesterday, the club received an official approach from St Johnstone for permission to speak to David about taking on the vacant position at McDiarmid Park. Following discussions with John Ward, John Mcllvogue and David himself, I informed St Johnstone this morning that we wouldn’t be giving permission for that conversation to take place.

“David has been pivotal in both the on-field success of the club over recent years and on the off-field growth and stability of the club too – something we wish to see continue under David’s leadership for a long time to come.

“Whilst I’ve no doubt that David has ambitions to move on and further his career in management eventually, we weren’t particularly keen to see that next move be to a league rival who we’re currently directly competing against.

“Such is the character of the man, David’s first response was solely on ensuring that full focus remained on tomorrow’s game at Tynecastle and that everyone at the club didn’t lose sight of that. His own mantra has always been that everything at Livingston must be about the we and not the me, and that very much remained the same following these discussions.

“I’ve no doubt this news will be very well received amongst you, our fans, and we hope to see you continue to get right behind David, his coaching staff and all the players as we head into a busy schedule of games between now and the winter break.”

Martindale spent four years in prison from 2006 for drug and money laundering offences but has impressively rehabilitated himself since his release in 2010.

After first getting involved with Livingston on a part-time volunteer basis in 2014, he worked his way up to become manager in 2020. Despite operating with one of the lowest budgets in Scotland’s top flight, the 49-year-old has overseen three consecutive mid-table finishes in his time in charge, helping him attract the attention of St Johnstone.

Alex Cleland is currently in interim charge of Saints while their search for a new manager continues.

Michael Nottingham is desperate to get himself fully fit and start repaying David Martindale for bringing him to Livingston.

The 34-year-old defender moved to the Lions from Accrington in the summer after previously spending his entire career in England.

However, he has been restricted to just two appearances so far after struggling with tendonitis, stemming from an ankle tendon injury that plagued him for much of last season.

“It’s been very frustrating because I came up here to play games, but with that setback it’s been physically draining,” he said.

“Mentally it’s been about trying to keep myself in the zone and take it day by day. I had my injury last season that kept me out for the majority of the season so I know exactly what I have to go through (to get fit again), but it’s obviously not what you want.

“The gaffer signed me to be a big part of the team this year and I wouldn’t say I feel like I’ve let him down because you can’t help injuries at times, but I feel like I haven’t given back yet so I really want to make sure I’m able to do that as soon as possible.

“The club have been amazing with me. The staff and the boys have been really understanding and supportive. It’s been amazing.”

Nottingham has not played since a second-half substitute appearance away to Rangers on August 12, but he is now back in training and has an outside chance of being in the squad for Wednesday’s cinch Premiership trip to Hearts.

“I’ve always been a player in the past who has been quite robust and able to train regularly and play in the majority of games, but since my big injury last year, that’s kind of been taken away from me,” he said. “I don’t think my body’s been conditioned well enough.

“For me, right now, it’s about getting back training regularly, trying to manage my body and be available for selection as much as possible.

“When I get my opportunity I need to bring my experience to the team and help them try to win games. I need to try to get my fitness levels up as quickly as possible.”

David Martindale heaped praise on Livingston for the ruthless way they put 10-man Motherwell to the sword in a 2-0 victory.

The Lions made light work of cutting open their visitors once Lennon Miller had been red carded in first-half stoppage time for clipping the heels of Dan MacKay.

Bruce Anderson made the breakthrough only seven minutes into the second half and Sean Kelly added a second from the spot nine minutes later.

It was a first home victory for the Almondvale side in the Premiership this season and they remain undefeated against teams outside the Old Firm.

Livi boss Martindale said: “We’re not getting carried away, but it’s three points and a clean sheet.

“I felt we just shaded it 11 v 11. Motherwell have had a fairly good start to the campaign and they’ve got a good shape about them and a good structure. They’re well coached.

“I don’t think they caused us many problems in the first half and we worked on Dan MacKay, in particular, attacking those central zones at pace.

“We got our just rewards from it and Dan got his just rewards from it.

“I thought wee Bruce was brilliant today with his link-up, he was fantastic and brings Dan into play, and they went down to 10 men.

“I’ll be honest, I thought it was going to be a difficult second half, in terms of trying to break Motherwell down.

“But we managed to get in behind them quite early on for the first goal and then James Penrice did magnificently for the second goal.

“That took a wee bit of the sting out of the game, playing against 10 men. The boys have got to take a lot of credit for the clean sheet.”

Martindale reserved special praise for Anderson, who led the line for Livingston impressively and grabbed his sixth goal of the campaign.

He added: “Bruce’s link-up was brilliant. It’s a part of his game he needs to join together and be a bit more consistent with.

“He’s always going to score goals if you get the ball into the box, but outside the box he knows it’s an area of his game he needs to work on.

“But, outside the box, I thought he was tremendous today and that was the most pleasing aspect for me.”

Meanwhile, Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell was angered by his side’s second-half capitulation.

The Fir Park side opened the season in fantastic form with 10 points from a possible 12, but have now lost four in a row.

Kettlewell said: “There was nothing in the game before [the red card] and that’s the bit that really frustrates me.

“But it also seemed to be the catalyst for a real degree of naivety from our point of view.

“The decision making wasn’t good enough, we conceded one penalty and could have conceded another.

“It all just spiralled out of control and I have never seen that since being here. It irks me and it begins to anger me, as we have had a lot of plaudits for being a good side.

“We are always well organised but in that second half, it all just spiralled. I take responsibility for that but I have never seen it from the players before.”

Livingston manager David Martindale believes the club’s new owner will be a “huge positive” – even though he knows very little about him.

The cinch Premiership club announced on Sunday night that Baycup Ltd and sole director John McIlvogue had acquired a majority shareholding.

Earlier this year, McIlvogue led a consortium that saved well-known Glasgow bakery firm Mortons Rolls from the brink of collapse and rescued more than 100 jobs. His other business interests include food and carpet firms.

McIlvogue has negotiated the Livingston deal with chairman John Ward and is set to meet Martindale and the rest of the staff on Tuesday.

The Livi manager said: “I don’t really know anymore than you guys but what I will say is there’s a new owner and it’s got to be a positive for the football club, because where we have been for the past three or four years has not been great.

“I am going to be really honest, it’s been really, really difficult for the staff in the club.

“So to have fresh impetus, a fresh skill-set coming into the building and hopefully upstairs aligned with downstairs and a wee bit of help upstairs for everybody in the club, that’s a huge, huge positive for the club.

“I have not even met these new owners or the new owner, whatever it is. I don’t even know him, but I just know it needed done and hopefully this is the step in the right direction.”

Livingston made pre-tax loss of more than £800,000 for the 2021-22 financial year and projected another loss of about £400,000 for last season.

Martindale said: “There’s been a lot of sleepless nights and sometimes you come into your work, and it’s not just me, it’s probably every member of staff, and you just think ‘I just want to be able to do my own job’.

“I want to be a football manager, I want to be a chief exec, whatever your role is, it’s been really difficult for all the staff because we are all mucking in and trying to keep this club in the Premiership. Sometimes it’s like pushing water up a hill, that’s how it feels.

“I don’t know the owner, but I trust John Ward implicitly and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead because there is going to be a skill-set that helps us face those challenges as a collective unit. Hopefully it’s the start of a fresh beginning for Livingston.”

The share purchase process remains ongoing, but McIlvogue has assumed control from a consortium called OPCCO6, which includes Ward, who is one of two club directors along with chief executive Dave Black.

That vehicle owned 1.3million of close to 2million shares in the club at the last confirmation, but a further 3.8million shares were created in June.

Historic ownership and club finance issues have been the subject of court cases and police investigations.

Martindale said: “It’s public knowledge, there are probably three or four ongoing court cases I have had to take an active part in in terms of sitting in on meetings because I am getting kept up to date with what’s going on.

“These court cases centre around alleged ownership of the football club and alleged loans.

“I hope I don’t need to deal with this on an ongoing basis.

“There’s only three or four of us in the building, there’s only me and Dave here on a daily basis, so generally anything that comes through the door, we have to deal with it.”

Martindale does not expect an immediate uplift in his football budget, but the club hope that McIlvogue can bring in new advertising revenue in his role as chief commercial officer.

“I’m not going to be chapping the door asking for more money in my budget,” he said. “I’ve got the budget, I know what I am working with.

“I think it’s important as a club we look at ways to increase our turnover, which in turn should hopefully lead to an increase in the budget.

“We lost a lot of money last year so I think it was important we got someone who was coming in and was going to underwrite any losses we are going to have this year.

“But that doesn’t mean I’ve not got to be frugal and spend within our means.

“But it’s nice to have that comfort knowing there is someone in the building who has offered to do that, who is in here to help the football club moving forward.”

Livingston manager David Martindale says he was conscious of the impact a delayed kick-off in their match against Ross County would have on the fans more than his players.

The Lions’ coach broke down a few miles north of Inverness, leading to a knock-on impact on their arrival in Dingwall and the starting time for the game.

However, when the match did eventually kick off 15 minutes late Livingston started well, and despite going behind to Simon Murray’s goal they were still able to earn a point after Bruce Anderson found the net.

“It probably had an effect on us, but how big I don’t know,” Martindale explained.

“We struggled to get accommodation. Inverness was fully booked and the closest we could get was Aviemore.

“You are trying to put the fans first as well as having player safety in mind with warming up. We needed an hour, so once we got here we could figure out the kick-off time.

“I don’t think the fans will be overly annoyed that it was a 15-minute delay, but if it had been 45 minutes that could have had a bigger impact, so I was very conscious of trying to get on the park as quickly as possible.

“Coming away with a point from Ross County, I probably would have taken that coming in, although I would have liked a clean sheet.”

For County boss Malky Mackay, there was an element of frustration over taking the lead and not being able to see the match out for all three points.

However, having seen Livingston up close for the first time this season, he suspects it will be a good result for the Staggies in time.

“The initial feeling after the game was that it was two points lost – but I think if I look back on this later in the season it will be a point gained,” Mackay said.

“Livingston will do well this year in this league. Davie knows how to put a team out and how to get points. I was so enthused by my team’s attitude and their willingness to keep striving to get three points.

“I’ve got three centre-backs who were absolutely immense, but all three of them switched off and made the wrong decision and they got their goal.

“I don’t want to be too harsh on them, because as the season goes on they are going to keep clean sheets for us.”

David Martindale has hinted that some additional players could leave Livingston this summer after the club confirmed the names of six stars definitely on the way out.

The Lions boss had already revealed in recent weeks that captain Nicky Devlin – who has agreed to join Aberdeen – would depart under freedom of contract along with fellow first-team mainstays Jack Fitzwater and Stephane Omeonga.

And the West Lothian club announced on Monday, a day after their final cinch Premiership match against St Johnstone, that Jackson Longridge, Jaze Kabia and goalkeeper Brian Schwake – all of whom have been out on loan over the past season – will also move on.

There could yet be more players heading for the exit door, though, with Martindale trying to trim his squad to free up space for new recruits.

“It goes without saying that I offer my thanks and very best wishes to those players moving on this Summer,” the manager told the Lion website.

“I’ve spoken to other players still under contract with the club and explained that some won’t be in my plans next season and that they are free to speak with other clubs if the opportunity arises.”

Livingston had high hopes of finishing in the top six of the cinch Premiership after a promising first half of their campaign but they ended up eighth after losing nine and winning only three of their last 14 league games.

Livingston manager David Martindale says some members of his squad should not be surprised if they are dropped for the trip to Kilmarnock following their performances in a 2-0 defeat by Ross County.

The Lions started as the better of the two teams in Dingwall but could not find a breakthrough to make the most of their momentum.

Either side of half-time County did find the net through Alex Iacovitti and Alex Samuel – and in the end it was a comfortable victory for the Staggies.

That comfort level left Martindale unimpressed, and he thought some of his players looked as though they had nothing left to play for this season.

“I don’t think up until the first goal the boys were off it, but giving the cheap goal away saw Ross County grow in confidence,” he said.

“There was more desire and intensity from Ross County than us after the goal, so we need to find our feet very quickly.

“We will be playing against other teams who are fighting against relegation, and we have to match that desire that those players will have. It’s my job to make sure the players find that.

“We have four games left now, and if most of the guys got dropped next week I don’t think they could have much to say about it.

“Our squad depth is a challenge at this point, but it’s up to me and my staff to find a solution and we’re more than capable of doing that.”

Martindale’s opposite number Malky Mackay, on the other hand, was delighted with Ross County’s display.

Coming off the back of a two-week wait for redemption after a 6-1 drubbing bby Hearts, Mackay was heartened by his players closing the gap at the bottom of the cinch Premiership table to a single point.

“We only haven’t been at it twice this season, and Hearts was one of them,” he said.

“In most games it has been close, we have been in and around it. Every team we have played, we have made it tough whether we win or lose – so I was really disappointed with that performance.

“It was really important that in the first of the two-week break, we got them back in and put a shoulder around them. They were battered and bruised, in terms of their reputation and they were disappointed.

“Against Livingston, we again made it difficult for a team. I’ve got a group here that will fight to the last to make sure we stay in this division.”

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