Livingston manager Gary Holt refused to be dragged into a war of words with Steven Gerrard – but insists the Lions pride themselves on making life difficult for opponents.
Rangers boss Gerrard again went on the offensive yesterday morning by insisting Livingston defender Ricki Lamie should have been sent off for the challenge that left Joe Aribo needing 20 stitches to a head wound.
Gerrard had already vented his frustration about the West Lothian side’s physical approach immediately after Wednesday evening’s gritty 1-0 Betfred Cup quarter-final victory at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
But former Scotland midfielder Holt attempted to douse the flames on the fall-out despite conceding that striker Lyndon Dykes is a doubt for tomorrow’s clash with Hamilton after being injured in the controversial last-man challenge with Filip Helander.
Holt said: “Every game is hard-fought and there are hard battles, that’s part and parcel.
“It’s one of those that we have a style of play and we want to stamp our authority on the game and I thought it was a good game, although we came out on the wrong end of it.
“We lost the game, it’s done.
“It’s part and parcel of football that people get asked their opinions on things.
“I wish them good luck, they’re in the semi-final and it will be a great occasion for their club.
“I always believe that once the 90 minutes is done, it’s done.
“We take the positives from it, we can’t ask the players for any more and can’t thank them enough for the shift they put in.
“I think the fans can see that, everyone can see how hard they’re working and it’s something we pride ourselves on.”
Ironically, Dykes is now struggling to be fit for the trip to Hamilton after sustaining an ankle injury in being caught from behind by Helander at the end of the first half.
Referee Don Robertson waved play on but later apologised to Livingston players for getting the decision wrong.
Holt said: “He is struggling, we all saw he got a sore one when he went through.
“His ankle has swollen up really badly and a lesser man would have come off.
“It shows what he’s about and his mentality that he wanted to play.
“His ankle is probably telling him now that he should have come off. I think he’ll be touch and go.
“It’s happened, it’s done and I wish Stevie and Rangers all the best. I am very humble in defeat as I am in victory.”