Livingston must be more tenacious, says Gary Holt

Gary Holt wants Livingston to get back to basics
Gary Holt wants Livingston to get back to basics (PA Wire)
13:14pm, Sun 01 Nov 2020
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Livingston manager Gary Holt called for his side to rediscover their tenacity following a 2-0 home defeat by Motherwell.

Livi trailed by two goals at half-time after Callum Lang got in behind to net and Tony Watt followed up on Mark O’Hara’s partly-saved free-kick to convert the rebound under no pressure.

The home side had storm-force winds at their back in the second half but Motherwell stood up to a series of long throws and Holt’s side could not seriously trouble visiting goalkeeper Aaron Chapman.

“I asked them to go away and reflect on it individually themselves and then collectively we will have a look at it,” Holt said.

“We are caught between playing a bit more football but going away from ‘sleeves rolled up, I’m going to get my head kicked in our box and then put my head in where it hurts at the other end’.

“We need that, we need to get back to being tenacious and do the work first. Whereas I think we tried to play football on a day it wasn’t meant to play football in, and we got caught with it.”

Motherwell did get some joy from getting the ball down and playing in the first period, notably when Devante Cole sent Lang clear to open the scoring midway through the half.

The visitors then did the dirty work after the break, with Declan Gallagher and stand-in centre-back Mark O’Hara dominating their penalty box.

O’Hara has played right-back, defensive midfield and attacking midfield during his career and has seemingly found another position he can master.

“It is certainly a position he is doing very well in,” Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson said. “That’s two clean sheets now since he has played there and four altogether in the last five games. He has been excellent.

“He has an old-fashioned mentality; if you ask him to do a job he does it.

“He is a brilliant professional. Mark can play anywhere you ask him to play.

“We had eight academy players on the pitch or on the bench – we are really, really low on numbers and picked up another couple of knocks. So to have someone like Mark who can play in any position is great.”

O’Hara shifted back after Robinson lost defensive options Bevis Mugabi, Ricki Lamie, Liam Grimshaw, Liam Donnelly, Charles Dunne and Jake Carroll.

Robinson, who saw Cole go off with a tight hamstring, said: “Hopefully in the next few weeks we will have Ricki and Grimmy back and Bevis back from his shoulder injury.

“Further down the line Jake Carroll back as well, which will give us a really strong squad. We just need to try and get through the next few games.

“The one before the international break (Celtic) is obviously a tough one.

“We will see where we are numbers-wise but there were some really pleasing aspects on Saturday, the team as a whole played very, very well, played the conditions, and showed a level of maturity.”

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