David Martindale is convinced handing veteran goalkeeper Gary Maley his swansong inspired Livingston to a final-day 2-1 victory over Dundee.
The 39-year-old was given the final 15 minutes as he brought the curtain down on six years with the club and the fans’ favourite lifted the home crowd as Livi chased an equaliser following Josh Mulligan’s second-half opener.
Andrew Shinnie levelled things up for the Lions with 12 minutes remaining and Alan Forrest curled in the winner just six minutes later.
Martindale, who expects Forrest to join Hearts, handed starts to Craig Sibbald and Jack McMillan after revealing they are expected to leave this summer.
He said: “With the amount of changes, it took us a wee while to get to grips with the game.
“I don’t think there was much in the first half. I thought we did all right, Dundee were okay, there was nothing really in the game of any note.
“They scored against the run of play, which was a wee bit of a negative. We need to stop the cross but we need to defend the back post better.
“Then, the gamechanger was putting big Gary Maley on. We were 1-0 down and we win 2-1, so that’s got to be the headline.
“He was man of the match as well. There can’t be many players who have played 18 minutes and won man of the match.
“The changes really helped us pick the game up and, all joking aside, big Stretch (Maley) going on actually picked the crowd up – and I think that translated onto the park.
“And the four substitutions helped that, obviously.”
Dundee assistant Dave Mackay admits the club face big decisions this summer following relegation to the Championship.
The Dens Park side revealed ahead of the game that manager Mark McGhee will not remain in charge for next season, and Mackay said: “We’re all in for meetings (on Monday). At the minute, I’m just disappointed we couldn’t finish on a high.
“There will be some people moving on, others staying.
“But it’s a chance now for the club to rebuild to make sure the next time we get back to the Premiership, in hopefully a year’s time, it is in a much better place to sustain it.
“The club will work through a process and will have plenty of good candidates.
“Ultimately it is a big decision for the club and they need to make sure we get the right one in.”