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Livingston manager David Martindale was happy to see next opponents Dundee United turn on the style days before his trip to Tannadice.

Martindale admitted it might have been better for his side to be playing a United team low on confidence after a defeat.

But he saw the bigger picture as Jack Ross led United to a 1-0 Europa Conference League win over AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night.

He even joined in the applause for midfielder Craig Sibbald, who left Livi for Tayside in the summer.

“I was at the game and I thought they were brilliant,” Martindale said. “United’s shape was very good on and off the ball. I thought their big players played a huge part in the game.

“When I say big players, I mean they spent big money on Steven Fletcher, Charlie Mulgrew and even wee (Dylan) Levitt to a certain degree. I thought the three of them were really outstanding at times.

“I was really happy to see wee Sibbs do well too if I’m honest. I was in the crowd when he came off and I gave him a wee clap. Genuinely, I was delighted for him.”

Martindale was also happy for Ross and his assistant, Martindale’s former right-hand man Liam Fox.

“I know Jack, and I know Foxy really well,” he said. “I think the two of them working together will be a really good fit for Dundee United. I think Dundee United’s trajectory is on the up.

“They had 11,000 fans which shows you how big a club they really are. They are a big, big club and I think Jack and Foxy have got a right good chance of progressing Dundee United further. Their tactical game plan was bang on.

“I know them individually and I was delighted they won the game. If I’m solely being selfish and thinking would it be better going into the game and facing Dundee United if they got beat 2-0? Probably. But for the overall benefit of Scottish football I was really happy to see that.”

Martindale does think there might be a chance to capitalise on United’s exertions though.

“To take the result and performance away, they played on Thursday night and are playing Sunday and then Thursday-Sunday again so we have got to utilise that.

“Jack has been fairly vocal that he is looking to add another two or three to his squad and he has not got them for this game.

“So he will have a limited number of bodies and will have one eye on Thursday’s game so we have probably got to use that to our advantage as much as possible.”