Gary Holt asked for a gritty 1-0 victory off his Livingston players this week – and that’s exactly what he got against Ross County.
Whilst not a pretty football spectacle, Holt’s men did enough to get the job done in West Lothian. After an even battle with the Staggies in the first half, Carl Tremarco was sent off for the away team in the second and the game changed.
Livi piled on the pressure following this and got the important goal, Jon Guthrie’s header beating Ross Laidlaw and handing the Lions a first win of the season. It’s a good boost heading into the international break.
Holt asked his team to play to their strengths against Ross County after failing to win in their opening five and he’s satisfied with the rewards, also providing comment on referee John Beaton’s performance.
“I’ve talked openly this week with the players that I wanted an ugly, 1-0 win and we got that,” said Holt. “With the chances we created we should have scored more but I got my win. The last thing I said to them before the start of the game was to make sure they came back in with the three points.
“I didn’t care how they did it as they long as they did. We needed a reward today for the work we had done in the first month. We needed to get something out of the game and we got that.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a weight off my shoulders as I believe in the players. I believe in the work that they do. But it’s them not believing in themselves and getting the rewards they deserve. After the Aberdeen game last week I told them they had to change how they went about things.
“I wanted them to make this as ugly as possible and to make it a battle. I wanted them to make it a Livi style of game. We did that but still created good chances. I thought 11 vs 11 that we were the better side and should have been two up by half-time. I asked them to be patient but without taking the pace out of the game.
“I wanted them to keep it moving. That’s what got the boy the second yellow, the pace of our play and getting at them. We got into really good areas and got good balls into the box but now we’re getting people on the end of them.
“In the heat of the moment you’re always going to nitpick wee moments. I thought there were incidents he could have picked up on and Stuart will think the same. But I thought the game flowed well and the two bookings WERE two bookings. I don’t think Tremarco could have any arguments.”