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David Martindale not taking Celtic’s ‘diminished’ squad lightly

By January 14, 2021No Comments

Livingston manager David Martindale claims the value of Celtic’s makeshift team could keep his club going for 60 years.

Celtic lost 13 players to self-isolation ahead of Monday’s draw with Hibernian after Christopher Jullien tested positive for Covid-19 on return from the club’s costly trip to Dubai.

The likes of Vasilis Barkas, Kristoffer Ajer, Scott Brown, Ryan Christie, Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths were absent and Celtic had two wide players up front – 19-year-old debutant Cameron Harper and the fit-again Mikey Johnston.

However, key players such as David Turnbull, Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic were in action and Martindale will not underestimate the crisis-hit Scottish Premiership champions ahead of Livingston’s trip to Celtic Park on Saturday.

“I was looking at Celtic’s squad against Hibs and, looking round the team, I was valuing it at around £60 million,” he said.

“They had an abundance of talent on that pitch – £60 million could run my club for 60 years.

“They have a big squad for a reason. It’s a fantastic squad and, even the squad that lined up against Hibs was very good.

“Yes, it’s diminished for a Celtic team, but that’s got nothing to do with us.

“We can only play what’s in front of us. There’s an opportunity to go there and pick up points but, on the flip-side, they are more than capable of beating us. We’ll need to be at the top of our game.”

Livingston were denied the chance to equal a club-record nine consecutive wins when their game against Aberdeen postponed at the last minute on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t really change our build-up. It means I could get more intensity into the players on Thursday, whereas that would have been a recovery session.”