Livingston manager David Martindale admitted his players are struggling for confidence after his side’s 4-1 defeat to Hibernian at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
The Lions had taken an early lead through Joel Nouble but an Elie Youan brace, Stephane Omeonga own goal and Mykola Kukharevych tap-in consigned them to a heavy defeat.
Jack Fitzwater was sent off for the hosts and Livi boss Martindale also saw red in the closing stages as Livi suffered their fourth straight loss in all competitions.
Martindale said: “It’s probably unheard of this season but I’ve been here 100 times before. At a club of this size you lose games of football, but I think our performance level since the Inverness defeat hasn’t been there.
“The boys have lost a wee bit of confidence and belief in themselves and we need to try and get that back.
“We have a hit a wee bit of a wobble but the way we defended really wasn’t good enough and that’s all over the park, from the number nine through to the centre-halves.
“The third goal comes when we have 10 men and the fourth comes when we have nine, so it’s disappointing. Everything that could have went wrong, went wrong, including myself getting sent off late on.”
Hibs boss Lee Johnson endured his own wretched run earlier in the season, but the Edinburgh side appear to have turned a corner.
They are now unbeaten in their last seven league matches, with this victory marking their third straight victory, and Johnson believes people are finally seeing the potential of his side.
He said: “CJ Egan-Riley and Jimmy Jeggo are marshalling physically that midfield, and then there’s Josh Campbell’s energy as well.
“It’s always the one brain of the team and I’m a massive believer in the sum of the parts being greater than any individual.
“It just feels nice for people to start seeing the real Hibs and every win, every result that comes our way, justifies it a little bit more.”
The Hibs boss also reflected on the attacking options now at his disposal – with Kevin Nisbet returning from injury off the bench. Youan has five goals in his last five games, while Kukharevych grabbed a late goal and Matthew Hoppe also impressed up front.
He added: “Mykola Kukharevych, Elie Youan and Ewan Henderson have all been playing extremely well in the last two or three games, and Josh Campbell is chipping in with goals.
“We talk about the defence but you need to have that threat to ease the pressure on the defenders.
“Earlier on in the season we didn’t quite have enough of that, but the improvement in players like Youan, as an example, and the recruits we’ve brought in and that bedding in in terms of how we want to play means we carry a threat in any game we play now.”