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Livingston manager David Martindale feels Joel Nouble is well placed to help their top-six push after making his comeback at Celtic Park.

The forward made his first appearance since November when he came off the bench for the final 21 minutes of Livingston’s 3-0 defeat.

Livi dropped to fifth in the cinch Premiership but five of their next six league games are at home and Nouble’s return from a knee injury gives them added firepower to sustain their challenge for a top-half finish.

“It was good to get 20-25 minutes into Joel’s legs,” Martindale said. “I thought he did fairly well. He still looked to have some of that sharpness.

“Obviously the match fitness isn’t there but Joel lives his life correct away from the park and with the rehab he has had, I don’t think he is in a bad place.

“Joel is making the most of his ability now. I think he knows you only get one crack at this and he is taking that with both hands. He has a huge future.”

Martindale is openly targeting the top six after starting the season with his usual aim of avoiding relegation, publicly at any rate.

“We have 10 cup finals,” he said. “That’s us got Celtic out the road, which is the most difficult tie in the last 11 games. We have Rangers coming to Livingston. Ten huge games left to stay in the top six.

“I enjoy this part of it, I enjoy the split. The cut-off is approaching and everyone is trying to get in the top six. Even if you are sitting 12th in the league, you think ‘if we win the next five games…’”