Livi boss Martindale applauds Ange and the "fantastic" Celtic players ahead of Sunday

By Euan Davidson

March 3, 2022

It wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that Livingston boss David Martindale enjoys playing Celtic.

In recent encounters, the Livi Lions have had our number. They’ve frustrated us home and away, and inflicted one of our only domestic defeats in 21-22.

However, Martindale isn’t getting complacent. Instead he’s offered lavish praise to Celtic and manager Ange Postecoglou, calling them a “different” team to the one they beat last time the sides met at the Tony Macaroni. Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash, he also found time to praise recruitment, while embracing his side’s underdog status.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Martindale said [Livingston FC]: “I genuinely, I’m not looking for an out here – I genuinely think it’s a different Celtic team.

“I do, I honestly believe Ange is playing some of the best football I’ve seen a Celtic team play.

“I think we’re unbeaten here against Celtic, but I think it’s going to be a really, really difficult game. I think Ange’s recruitment has been bang on. The players he’s got – I’m on record before speaking about it. Some of the players they’ve got are absolutely fantastic.

“I think Ange has done a wonderful job, I think it’s going to be an extremely difficult game. But we’ll go into it as the underdog, it’s what we do in most games to be honest.

“I’m really looking forward to it.”

Celtic 2-0 St. Mirren | LIVE Reaction

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Is Livingston manager David Martindale playing mind games, or is there genuine respect for Celtic and Ange Postecoglou?

Knowing what we do about Ange Postecoglou, it’s likely the Celtic manager was begrudgingly impressed by how Livingston won against us all the way back in September.

Yes, Livingston played anti-football. There’s a low block, and then there’s the 9-1-0 formation they’ve used against us. The point is though, it worked. This is a chance for Postecoglou to enact some revenge. And while it’s tempting to wonder if Martindale is playing mind games, it’s probably not the case.

There seems a genuine respect there. Martindale knows, though, that his Livingston side are capable of causing Celtic problems. They’ve had a remarkable season, in truth. While there are few points to spare between European spots and the bottom two, the table has Livi sitting fourth [SPFL].

Being truthful, this is the game that Celtic fans have been anxious about. There’ll be trips to Tynecastle, Easter Road, Ibrox and the like ahead, but the Tony Macaroni Arena has been a wretched hunting ground for Celtic in recent seasons.

If Ange’s Celtic play the football Martindale is so in awe of, then a result is surely coming. To underestimate Livingston and Martindale though, is folly.

We know that all too well.

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