David Martindale: Livingston boss hopes criminal past won't deny him a managerial career

David Martindale has won eight and drawn one of his nine matches as Livingston manager; He faces an SFA 'fit and proper persons' test due to his criminal record; Livingston face Celtic on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Football from 8pm

Livingston manager David Martindale
Image: David Martindale won his first eight games in charge of Livingston before drawing with Celtic

David Martindale has made a sensational start to life in management with Livingston but faces a nervous wait to discover whether he can continue in the role.

The Scottish Football Association will this week discuss whether Martindale passes a 'fit and proper person' test because of his criminal past.

Martindale served four years of a six-and-a-half-year sentence for drugs and money-laundering offences in 2006. He feels he has been rehabilitated and hopes that will be recognised.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the 46-year-old said: "I don't think I can say too much. They've got all the facts in front of them.

"I've been here before and presented my case. I'm relying on other people to allow me to do my job.

"The new act that Scottish football has come out with (Football Unites), about diversity and unity; if they are serious about trying to impact that into Scottish football, I'd be really disappointed if I was seen as not a fit and proper person.

"The world is moving on, we're moving forward, we're not as narrow-minded as we once were. Hopefully the Scottish FA can take that into account and let me get on with my job."

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Martindale is expecting a number of players to return for Celtic as they prepare to take on the current Scottish champions for the second time in five days

He continued: "For the prison and court system to work, there has got to be a rehabilitation process. How do people get back into society? Do you want people falling into a vicious circle and reoffending?

"There's a lot of employers out there, big employers, who are making statements about bringing reoffenders back into the workplace. If Scottish football is serious about being open-minded, rehabilitation should seriously be considered in that."

It is an unwanted distraction in an extremely important week for Martindale and Livingston. They play Celtic for the second time in five days on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports, before a League Cup semi-final against St Mirren on Sunday.

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Since stepping into the managerial hotseat following Gary Holt's resignation in December, Martindale has led Livingston to wins in his first eight games in charge before they drew at Celtic Park on Saturday.

Is he enjoying it? "I don't think you do," he replied. "Scott Parker did an interview when he won the playoffs that I related so much to. He basically said you don't get a chance to enjoy it because all you worry about is the next failure.

"A lot of managers are very similar. Nobody's in football to fail so you're that scared of failing, of letting the fans down, letting the players and yourself down, I don't think you get a chance to enjoy the success.

"I'm also a big believer that when you put your head above the parapet, there's always someone bigger ready to knock it off."

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Highlights of Saturday's Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Livingston

Livingston could easily have made it nine wins on the bounce for Martindale at Celtic Park, with Josh Mullin going close for the visitors, but the interim boss is expecting a much different contest at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Wednesday.

"They didn't play with a natural striker on Saturday so they're going to come in with two strikers in (Odsonne) Edouard and (Leigh) Griffiths who could walk into any team in Scotland," he said.

"Ryan Christie, Scott Brown and Kris Ajer will probably come back into the mix as well.

"It's going to be a different game of football but it's one that we're looking forward to, and it's one we've dealt with in the past.

"There's no reason why we can't approach this in a positive mindset."

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