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Livingston manager attacks Rangers fans for halting play with snow barrage


Rangers fans who held up play for 10 minutes by pelting the Livingston goalkeeper Max Stryjek with snowballs on Sunday have been criticised by the Livingston manager David Martindale.

Martindale, whose side lost 3-1 against the champions, walked on to the pitch to stand with his players and plead with the visiting support to stop throwing snow – which had built up in front of the advertising boards – on to the artificial pitch.

At the time Rangers were 2-1 up, and there was a 10-minute delay while the pitch was cleared. Afterwards Martindale said: “We shouldn’t be standing here talking about the doughballs with the snowballs. I just don’t understand it. You could maybe see it if your team is getting beat and there’s a bit of frustration there, but when your team is winning 2-1, to hold up the second half, I don’t understand that at all.”

He added: “It’s on national telly and people are watching that, so come on, screw the nut a wee bit. I know the majority of Rangers fans were not throwing snowballs but it doesn’t look good for anyone.”

There was no comment on the snowball throwing from the Rangers manager, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who now has two wins from his first two games, having presided over a 2-0 victory against Sparta Prague on Thursday night.

Livingston manager David Martindale pleaded with fans to stop throwing snowballs on to the pitch.
Livingston manager David Martindale pleaded with fans to stop throwing snowballs on to the pitch. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA

The Dutchman praised his side’s performance in his first domestic match in charge, saying: “I think we controlled the game. We had a great start in the first 20, 25 minutes and scored two goals. The first goal was excellent, and the second was also really good.”

However, he was concerned about a drop in his side’s speed of play later on, as well as some general sloppiness. “If you control so much of the game you need to make sure you finish it as early as possible, and we kept Livingston too long in the game,” he said.

In Sunday’s other SPL match, Celtic beat Aberdeen 2-1, prompting the Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou to praise Callum McGregor for inspiring his teammates with “bags of energy” after the captain claimed an assist and the winning goal.

McGregor set up Jota for the opener and – after Lewis Ferguson levelled from the spot for Aberdeen – the Scotland midfielder then diverted the ball home on the hour mark after charging down Jonny Hayes’ clearance.

There was more than a touch of fortune about the winner but Postecoglou felt his team and McGregor had got their just rewards for the way they tackled the match.

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“Callum really drove the lads – just the energy, because that’s what I spoke about before the game, that’s what I emphasised,” Postecoglou said. “It’s easy for me to say it, but someone has got to go out there and lead from the front.

“I don’t know where he gets it from but he’s got bags of energy and, when they see him running about, they can’t help but be inspired to do the same thing. He leads by example. He’s a man of action and words and he was outstanding.”

The 2-1 victory keeps Celtic four pointsbehind Rangers in second place.



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