Livingston manager David Martindale was left pleased with how his players performed against Rangers, despite the 1-0 loss at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Alfredo Morelos’ goal three minutes from time was enough to secure a slender Rangers win. Light Blues boss Steven Gerrard was sent to the stands by referee John Beaton after booking the Colombian striker for diving in the first half, despite the collision with Livi goalkeeper Max Stryjek looking like a penalty.
Martindale says his side got lucky with that call as he remained satisfied with how the Lions responded to a 1-0 League Cup final defeat to St Johnstone on Sunday: “I am disappointed for the boys. I thought we got away with one in the first half with what looks like a stonewall penalty.
“We got away with one, but to lose the game so late on, it is always going to be disappointing. I could understand Steven Gerrard’s emotions, I would be the same! They are chasing title 55, they haven’t won the title in 10 years. John’s made a bad decision but he hasn’t meant to make a bad decision.
“But I can understand Steven Gerrard’s frustrations. I thought the performance was there from the boys, I thought we were fantastic up until Rangers score the first goal. You aren’t going to dominate the ball when you come up against the Glasgow sides, especially against Rangers who have been fantastic this season.
“You have to go in with a plan and 95% of our plan worked. We forced them into a lot of long, straight balls. We made a few chances ourselves, Max Stryjek didn’t have a lot to do. But I am proud of the boys and the intensity and energy was there.”
One negative for Livi was striker Gavin Reilly’s injury in the first half, pulling up after chasing down a Rangers pass. Martindale hopes it isn’t an injury that rules him out for the rest of the season.
He said: “Gavin is sore, I think it’s a hamstring. I’d imagine it’s six to eight weeks but we don’t know with these types of things. Hopefully we see him back before the end of the season. We don’t usually find out until two or three days later when the inflammation settles down.”
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