By Calum Brown
Livingston tasted defeat to Rangers on Sunday for the third time this season, meaning the Lions have picked up just five points from a possible 27 in their last nine Premiership games.
Strikes from Joe Aribo and Alfredo Morelos ensured a comfortable 2-0 victory for the Gers, leaving Livi boss Gary Holt disappointed with his side’s display having barely laid a glove on Steven Gerrard’s men.
Holt commented: “It is probably the toughest day I’ve had at the office since I came in. I just think we were a bit more reactive than proactive, waiting for somebody to make something happen, and against a very good side like Rangers you can’t do that.
“I can’t fault the effort, the energy levels and the commitment but we didn’t hunt in packs. We hunted in ones and twos, we were passive in certain areas and it’s disappointing to see. If you give a really good side time to play then they’ll hurt you.”
Despite sitting seventh in the Premiership, just one point below Ross County in sixth, Livingston could find themselves dragged into a relegation battle if their recent form continues.
With the league being so tight, Holt’s side lie only three points above the relegation play-offs and are a mere five points clear of bottom of the table St Mirren.
A difficult test at Celtic Park after the international break awaits the Lions, whose last victory came against Neil Lennon’s side in early October.
Since their 2-0 defeat at the Tony Macaroni Arena, Celtic have won all seven of their matches in all competitions, two of which came over Lazio in the Europa League.
Livi’s midfield enforcer Marvin Bartley remains confident that the West Lothian side can regain the form they showed earlier in the season.
He said: “We want to win games, so obviously it’s a concern for us because we haven’t won for a while, but I think if you look at the league table, we’re in a healthy position for Livingston Football Club.
“We don’t want to be in the bottom two. We’ve got the international break now, then we play Celtic, so we’ve just got to kick on and roll our sleeves up.”
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