Marvin Bartley vows to lead by example after taking Livingston armband

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MARVIN BARTLEY has vowed to continue leading by example after being named Livingston’s new club campaign.

The former Hibernian, Burnley and Bournemouth midfielder has taken the armband from Alan Lithgow, who faces several months on the sidelines due to a serious hip injury.

Bartley deputised as skipper for large swathes of last season due to Lithgow’s ongoing fitness woes and was given the ‘honour’ officially on Friday.

Skipper: ex-Hibs hero Marvin Bartley

And whether moral support or a dressing down is required, Bartley has vowed to live up to the role.

He said: “No matter where I’ve played, whatever club I’ve been at, I’ll try to help people the best I can.

“Sometimes that’s encouragement, and sometimes people need a rollocking!

“That’s just one of those things – it’s nothing personal, we’re all professionals and we’ll go in the changing room all friends again.

“I stood in for Al Lithgow last season when, unfortunately, he missed the majority of the campaign through injury and I’m delighted to get the role on a permanent basis.

“Nothing changes in terms of how I play, whether I’m captain or not captain.
Whether Al [Lithgow] had the armband or I did, I’m still the same person, will approach things in the same way and be no different around the boys

“But it’s a massive honour for me and I’m happy that the gaffer [Gary Holt] and Davie [Martindale, assistant] believe in me.”

Bartley’s ascension to captaincy came just a week after his 34th birthday – but he is adamant there is plenty left in the tank ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

He played in 36 of Livi’s 38 games last term and shone throughout, being named their players’ player of the year.

He joked: I’m feeling it [age]. I thought I’d get a couple of extra days off after turning 34 but Davie wasn’t having that!

“It’s just about recovery, really. The older you get, the more you need to recover and be more serious about things.

“That’s something I’m doing and I feel good. I’ve come back in reasonable shape and I’m getting through training well.”

That hunger, Bartley contends, is mirrored by the rest of the squad following a lengthy enforced hiatus due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

ATTITUDE

And, despite finishing fifth last season – the club’s best league finish since qualifying for Europe in 2002 – he says there will be no resting on laurels at in West Lothian.

Bartley told LFC Live: “I think the break has made the lads more hungry. If there can be a positive to come out of this, it’s that we’ve all come back desperate to kick on again.

“Sometimes when you are a smaller club like ourselves and finish high in the league, people might come back the next season and think they’ve arrived. That’s a worry.

“That attitude isn’t here at all, everyone has been training really hard and preparing for August 1.”

 
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