Preview - Livingston (a)

Last updated : 29 December 2005 By Firparkcorner

Livingston have enjoyed a revival since they last played us, losing only to the top four teams in the league and reaching the semi finals of the League Cup. When we sneaked the points in the last meeting, we dominated for the opening hour but then Livi came back into the game and played some nice football. We should have been home and dry but given we were not and they will look back at their own missed chances and perhaps feel they should have taken a point. If we are to take a victory on this occasion we will need to play well.

The performance against Aberdeen, after a slow start, was very good. We should be confident going into this one and if we can continue that form we’ll make it hard for our hosts. The midfield looks significantly better when a fit O’Donnell is present but we will be forced to make at least one change – McCormack is suspended but we have an almost direct replacement in the form of Kevin McBride. He does not have the same dig – or tendency to drift infield – as Alan so the rest of the midfield will have to work hard. Kevin does add some good width to our side though and his talent is good to have for free kicks and corners.

Ex-‘Well players Greg Strong, Jason Dair and Derek Adams could all line up against us but there is little doubt over the identity of Livi’s danger men. Richard Snodgrass is perhaps still inconsistent but there is no doubt he has the talent to become a very good player. The other to watch is Paul Dalglish who, after years of failing to live up to his name, finally seems happy with who he is and has found form. His goals have been instrumental in giving Livi the confidence needed to progress up the table.

Livingston are now second bottom, two points clear of Dunfermline, but their lowly status is mainly due to their abysmal start. On recent form they are much improved and any poor attitude shown by us will almost certainly result in a defeat. We also need the win though and the players will be aware that they have underachieved so far – this game gives us a great chance to be in the top six at the turn of the year.

We may not be relaxed for the full game but we will withstand the pressure and emerge with a very useful 2-0 win.