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Scottish Premiership Picks: Rangers’ Jack Butland, Hearts & Livi



Like the Old Firm’s inevitable dominance at the top and Hearts’ grip on third place, Livingston have long since seemed destined for the drop.

Time will finally run out for David Martindale’s side on Saturday if they fall to a fourth consecutive home defeat.

As the visitors play second-bottom Ross County, who themselves have not won away from home in 15 games since September, a win would reduce the gap to nine points.

However, even that would seem an insurmountable mountain to climb in the final four games considering Livingston have not won in eight outings, losing six of them, while County have only lost three of their latest eight.

If it was anyone else but Martindale, there would be major question marks about the manager’s future.

There have been no hints that Livingston’s new owners are contemplating an end to the 49-year-old’s 10-year association with the club, or his near four years in charge of the first team.

Martindale, who had long warned that the West Lothian club’s ability to punch above their financial weight had a shelf life, said this week that he had given his players a mental health break from the “psychological” strain of battling relegation.

It no doubt also gave him time to ponder what he views as a “reset” and “major overhaul” of his squad, regardless of which division they find themselves in next season.

With 14 or 15 players destined to exit in the summer, Martindale will already be planning for life without them – and in the Championship for the first time in six years.

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