David Martindale doesn’t believe fitness played a part in Livingston losing 3-1 to Motherwell on Saturday.

A Devante Cole double and Chris Long strike sealed a comfortable victory for the Steelmen that made it six games without a win for Livingston. It came off the back of a draining week for the Lions.

Hibernian v Livingston - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Tough week. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

A 1-0 League Cup final defeat to St Johnstone last Sunday was followed up by a 1-0 loss against Rangers on Wednesday night. The likes of Gavin Reilly and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas were also injured as Martindale took Livi to Fir Park.

But he isn’t blaming fatigue for Livi’s inability to beat the Steelmen, Martindale’s team now having to wait until next weekend at least against Hamilton Accies to confirm their top six place in the Scottish Premiership

He said: “I think that’s a wee bit disrespectful to Motherwell to be honest because they got up on the first balls and got on the second balls a lot better than we did. And I think I made enough changes in the two games to make sure we still had enough energy in and around the midfield area to help get us up the park.

Hamilton Academical v Livingston - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Thought he’d made enough changes. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“I think at 2-1 the momentum had swung for us a bit. But we aren’t going to win games of football with the way we defended. We’ve got to clear our lines. The defending needs to get better. Collectively we have to get better as a squad as the last four or five games haven’t been good enough.

“I look at individual games and over the last five games it hasn’t been good enough. These are the same players who went 14 games unbeaten with 10 clean sheets. Right now it looks as if they would struggle to keep a clean sheet.

“We need to find that inner confidence. It’s the basics of football. If you give away goals like that in the Premiership, you are never going to win games of football.”

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