BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Livingston manager Mark Burchill reckons Hibs will be feeling the pressure of trying to keep in touch with Rangers ahead of the Leith side’s trip to Almondvale.
Alan Stubbs’ outfit already have a nine point deficit to make up at the Championship summit, albeit they have a game in hand, in their bid to seal an automatic promotion place.
The Lions are also desperate for points to move off the basement but Burchill is hoping Hibs’ desire to catch-up with Rangers can play into his team’s hands.
He said: “I think they will be feeling the pressure more than us.
“Hibs are under pressure because they will be expected to push Rangers all the way and every point is a prisoner for them, they will try to come here and get points and get close to Rangers.
“Being realistic, we were probably expected to be where we are. The next seven games or so will tell us where we are going to be.
“We are disappointed with our start because I think I’ve built a squad that is good enough of being mid-table at least, the problem we’ve had is that we’ve not had the same team with suspensions and injuries and we’re a small squad.”
Livingston were beaten 3-0 at Ibrox last weekend but Burchill can take a small crumb of comfort from the fact that Rangers manager Mark Warburton was complimentary over their performance.
He added: “We got the tactics right and Mark made some nice comments after the game.
“But with the level of quality they’ve got and the amount of money they’re spending on players, they managed to get the result. They scored a goal from 35 yards, we were keeping them quiet up until that point.
“In three out of the last four games we’ve played really well and in the one we didn’t we had a player sent off after 30 minutes.”