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David Martindale has challenged Livingston to “kick-start” their cinch Premiership campaign away to buoyant Dundee United on Sunday.

After last weekend’s spirited display in a 2-1 home defeat by Rangers, the Lions boss is braced for another stern test against a Terrors side who finished fourth under Tam Courts last term and then pulled off a stunning Europa Conference League victory in new boss Jack Ross’s first home game in charge on Thursday.

Although he expects United to kick on to new heights this term, he believes his own team are perfectly capable of picking up their first points of the campaign at Tannadice.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s a game we’re more than capable of winning, but Dundee United finished fourth in the Premiership and we’ve got to respect that.

“I think Jack Ross is a very good manager and I know (assistant) Liam Fox as well. I think they’ve got a really good backroom team up there and I think they’ll be a different animal this season.

“I don’t mean that disrespectfully to what they did last year. I just think Jack’s got a wealth of experience and I think they’ll be a difficult team to beat this year. But going up to Tannadice, we want to kick-start our season. We want to try and pick points up and get something from the game.”

Martindale – who still hopes to add a new attacker to his squad this month – wants his players to play with the same focus that they showed for most of last weekend’s match, when they led Europa League finalists Rangers until the 72nd minute.

“If we can take that application, intensity and effort into the next 37 games, we’ll be in a good place,” he said.