Livingston - 24 hours on

Last updated : 01 January 2006 By Firparkcorner

Indeed, despite not playing as well as we did against Aberdeen, we showed admirable qualities in digging out the win at Livi. They were the less spectacular qualities true – work rate, application, perseverance and character – but few teams achieve any level of success without these attributes. Having laid siege to the Livi goal for almost the entire second half it would have been easy to write off the two extra points as the seconds ticked away. We stuck at it and got a reward late in the game which few would deny was deserved.

The suspension of Alan McCormack gave Kevin McBride the chance to re-stake a claim for the right midfield slot. This was a rare start for him in the last several months and it seems clear he is still recovering from his injury. He did not look especially sharp or fit and his touch on the ball seemed to be lacking. However, his set pieces and his goal at the end showed just what he can offer – he is a superb striker of the ball and when he gets back to full fitness he will give the manager a selection headache. Did Kevin do enough to keep his place for next week? It will be hard to drop the injury time match winner but we seem a better and more balanced side with McCormack in place.

Our two fixtures over the holiday period were vital for us and the results were more important than the performances. However, we can be pleased not only with the six points but with the excellent football which was played against Aberdeen and some grit and determination which saw us through the challenge of Livingston. If we can continue in this form we will lose some games but we will win a lot more.

The top six is within touching distance and the competitions still lie ahead. We are entering the New Year on a high and full of confidence – how long this lasts is down to us. If we keep passing the ball and working hard we have a side which will give us many more exciting moments, just like Saturday’s injury time winner. The key to success though is the dirtier side of the game – effort and organisation – and it looks like we’ve improved there too. After ending 2005 with a win there is every reason to hope we begin 2006 with a victory at Love Street.