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David Martindale is taking scant notice of Hibernian’s current plight as he prepares his Livingston side for the trip to Easter Road on Saturday.

Lee Johnson’s team have lost seven and won just one of their last eight cinch Premiership games to leave them in eighth place in the table.

Martindale, who is set to make changes to the Lions side which lost 2-1 at Celtic on Wednesday night including the return of striker Joel Nouble who sat on the bench at Parkhead, believes it is too early in the season to be making hard and fast judgements.

He said: “What I will say is how many points are they off fourth? Or third?

“So yes, they might be eighth just now. But we are three points in front of them with a game in hand and if they beat us on Saturday they jump two or three places in the league.

“I genuinely think this season between third and 12th there is nothing in the league.

“It would be a brave man who predicts who will be 11th and 12th this season, even who will be in the top six.

“Hibs might be where they are at this point in time but it doesn’t necessarily mean that is where they are going to be come game 33 (split).”

With games against Celtic and Edinburgh rivals Hearts coming up after the visit of Livingston, the spotlight at the weekend will be on Hibs boss Johnson.

However, Martindale, who performed various roles at Livingston before becoming permanent boss in December 2020, believes that in a time where social media makes things more difficult for managers,  clubs need continuity.

He said: “I don’t want to tell people how to run clubs, it’s not why I am here and I don’t want to talk about Lee or Hibs because I think that’s a little bit unfair.

“But what I will say is that I am a massive advocate of continuity.

“I do genuinely understand the pressure from social media these days, it is difficult for boards at clubs.

“Your opinion 15 years ago was sitting talking to your pal in the pub after the game or on your lunchbreak at work.

“Your opinion is now reaching hundreds of thousands of people so I think it puts more demands on  football clubs in general.

“There can be a lot of positivity but generally there is a lot of negativity which can grow arms and legs on social media which then leads to the stands on a Saturday.

“It is a difficult job, a highly-demanding job and you are doing your job and you are being judged by social media. So it doesn’t help.

“Going into my 10th season at Livingston, football is changing slightly but you could look at some of the top managers in the world.

“You look at Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson, you have got (Jurgen) Klopp, how long did it take Klopp to get success? Three or four seasons?

“Look at (Arsenal boss Mikel) Arteta. I think they were all calling for his head 18 months ago.

“The board stuck by him and he has managed to implement his philosophy, his identity into the  football club.

“The board backed him and they are sharing the rewards of doing that so I am a huge fan of continuity.”