Livingston have punched above their weight this season. Premiership survival is all but guaranteed in a campaign where they were most people’s favourites to go down.
They have ascended through the leagues, from League One to the Premiership, under the guidance of David Hopkins. Kenny Miller took a residency in West Lothian for seven weeks before Gary Holt took the reins at Livi during the early stages of the season. He will be the manager credited for their Premiership status.
The players deserve a huge chunk of that though, playing above and beyond themselves for the majority of the season. There is one key factor though where they excel more than most teams in the league.
Outside of Celtic and Rangers, the Lions have the best home form. Sure, they have only picked up one win on the road in the Premiership but that will matter little to the Livi faithful. They have made up for that with stellar home performances that has made West Lothian a place you don’t want to visit.
People will be quick to blame the pitch for their demise at the Tony Macaroni Arena. No team seems to be able to handle the fact that Holt’s men are a different animal when they are unleashed in front of their own fans.
They seem quicker and more confident in possession. Whilst away from home it sometimes looks like they are trying not to get beat, on home soil they are only interested in all three points. The Lions have scored 24 goals at home in contrast to just six away from the Tony Macaroni Arena. It’s a stat that shows how different they are on their own patch compared to on their travels.
They have created some memorable moments at their own ground this campaign. A 5-0 hammering of Hearts is surely the highlight, with victory over Rangers and a draw with Celtic up there too.
Livi have only lost four times on home soil. They’ve picked up nine of their 10 victories at the hilariously nicknamed ‘Spaghettihad’. Whilst it looked at the turn of this year like the fortress was about to crumble with three consecutive defeats, they have stormed back with back to back victories.
A hard fought win over Kilmarnock in ‘El Plastico’ was followed up by a comfortable 3-1 victory against St Johnstone. It showed once again their capabilities at home and why you don’t want to play Holt’s men in West Lothian.
The Lions have been a credit to themselves this campaign and have been a welcome addition to the Premiership. It’s showcased some of the best games in the league this season and Livingston will need this to continue if they want to survive again next season.