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    Allan Maitland previews Livingston match 

    Monday, December 27, 2010 4:06:55 PM

    I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas Day and that Santa was good to all our young and perhaps not so young supporters. Today we offer a warm and festive welcome to Gary Bollan, his players, coaches and the directors and supporters of Livingston Football Club for our final match of the year. With their full time status, the quality of their players and the director’s ambitions it has always been my belief that any team finishing above Livingston would win the league this season and the increment weather over the last month has undoubtedly worked in their favour as midweek games are always difficult for part time clubs with players trying to get time off work. With that in mind it has been hugely disappointing that we’ve failed to take advantage of the work done to get our games on recently and the draw against Peterhead and loss to Airdrie have been scant reward for the efforts of all concerned. Having taken only a point from the two matches does not, in my opinion, give anywhere near a true reflection of how we’ve played but unfortunately it is clearly a fair return considering the number of goals we’ve conceded. Last season we were very capable of winning games by only scoring one goal but our attempts to improve the quality of football on offer has unfortunately made us much more open and, coupled with individual errors every week, has made us a soft target for opposing teams. In order to make the season successful my job now is to rectify that and rectify it quickly. I feel that the football in an attacking sense has been much better and that we always look capable of scoring goals, which has led to very entertaining games particularly at home. However with only a couple of exceptions, we have never looked particularly comfortable or relaxed with only a single goal lead and there have been occasions when I feel we have settled for what we have rather than pushing on for another goal to kill the game - that may well be a legacy of last season that needs to change. Losing the two late goals has been the most disappointing end to a match in a long time and certainly ruined what had been an encouraging second half display when we saw “Jinky” play as well as I’ve seen since his injury and Jim Lister proved to be a real handful and showed great skill in setting Stuart Noble up for his goal before scoring himself with a superb header.
    We are fortunate that there is still a lot of football to be played this season and Inverness showed exactly what can be achieved when the confidence of winning games can provide a momentum that can sometimes be difficult to stop. We have more than our fair share of disappointments in 2010 and I hope that we can end the year on a high today and have a happier 2011.
    Thank you all for your support and I hope you enjoy a “guid new year”.
    Allan Maitland

    Managers Corner