BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
GARY HOLT will urge his fearless Lions to go for the jugular against Rangers this weekend as the Livingston manager draws inspiration from his own Ibrox heroics.
The 45-year-old still recalls the deafening silence as he rippled the net against the Gers in October 2000, helping Kilmarnock to a historic 3-0 victory. To this day it remains the Ayrshire club’s most handsome triumph in Govan.
An Arthur Numan own goal and an early strike from Christophe Cocard sealed the win against Dick Advocaat’s star-studded outfit which included Lorenzo Amoruso, Andrei Kanchelskis and Ronald de Boer.
“I loved testing myself on the big stage like Ibrox and against the better teams,” said Holt.
“I was fortunate enough to score in a game there where we won quite comfortably [3-0]. We scored in the opening stages and I remember thinking ‘we’ve scored far too early!’. They had 80 minutes to put it right.
“It’s just a great occasion to be involved in and we’re trying to tell the players to go and enjoy it, don’t be overawed.
“At the end of the day it’s 11 men versus 11 men, and they breathe and bleed the same as you. It’s a different level for our boys this season but we haven’t been overawed and they’ve embraced every game so far. I’m sure this will be the same.”
Rampant Rangers are the top scorers in the Scottish Premiership, with 22 of their 32 goals coming at Ibrox. In their last home game, they demolished Motherwell 7-1 with an unerring display of clinical finishing.
However, Holt has no intention of parking the bus.
“They’ve got good names but if you give them time and space to play they’ll beat us so we have to turn it into a battle and make it as uncomfortable for them at Ibrox as we made it from them at our home.
“Some people speak about the first 20 minutes and say ‘keep it 0-0’. I’m a firm believer that you should go out and try to score a goal. That makes it an even more difficult atmosphere, that really upsets the apple cart.
“The staff and players will all be happier if we have a go every game. We’ll all go home happy at night. I can sleep easy if we try to win the game of football.”