David Martindale doesn't hide Rangers affection and adopts totally different tactics against them - Hotline

David Martindale admitted he used to watch Giovanni van Bronckhorst on his travels following Rangers.

But he got up close with the Dutch legend as they went head to head in the new Ibrox gaffer’s first domestic game in charge of the Light Blues.

It was Van Bronckhorst who came out on top with a 3-1 victory at a venue where Celtic lost earlier this season – Livi’s only home league win so far.

And self-confessed Gers fan Martindale’s side’s performance against his boyhood heroes angered one Hotline caller.

Celtic fell seven points behind Gers after events in West Lothian but cut the gap back to four with a 2-1 win over Aberdeen.

Ian Melrose, Edinburgh , said: “The Livingston board and support need to take a long hard look at David Martindale who is deploying a totally different set of tactics against the club he openly supports.

“I was a coach for over 30 years and his attacking high defensive line against Rangers is the total opposite of the low block, 10 men behind the ball tactics deployed against Celtic. It’s so obvious it’s unreal.”

John Bruce emailed: “After one European game and one league game, Giovanni van Bronckhorst is already putting his stamp on the team and has Rangers looking like the rampant team of last season.

“The early season lethargy has gone and is being replaced with energy and goals. Ominous news for the chasing back as Rangers surge towards title 56.”

Gordon Ashley, Ayr, said: “If only there were trophies handed out for getting out of the Europa League groups stage.

“The monetary difference between the two lower European competitions is virtually nothing and this mighty Rangers team is now on a one trophy out of ten glory run while Celtic are set to further close the gap on their claimed 115 and one shared trophy haul to three trophies.”

Steven Richardson, emailed: “Hotline regular Mr Ashley’s having a laugh by saying Celtic can go toe to toe with top six teams from the four big leagues. Top teams do not get dumped into the Europa Conference League play-offs which is for all the teams that think they can compete in Europe but just aren’t good enough.”

Danny Robertson, Paisley, said: “Gordon should start selling tickets for his one man comedy show. His latest statement that Celtic can now go toe to toe with the best in the top four leagues is hilarious. Has he looked at the latest Group G standings? Played five and only won the two against the team sitting bottom who have lost all their games. Those facts make a mockery of his claim .”

Alfie Mullin, London, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to wish Celtic all the best of luck, in their quest to win the Conference Pear. Who knows, maybe they’ll get it the same way as when they got their last Premiership title, which was courtesy of a conference call.”

Neil Kinnell, Keltybridge, said: “With Celtic’s latest exemplary European run still going strong, it might be a good time to rename them parachute brigade. They have now safely glided into their third European competition of the season whilst at the same time managing to concede the most goals of any of the 32 teams in the Europa League their achievements just keep piling up.”

Jimmy Murray, Edinburgh, said: “For the second year running Celtic top the charts for goals against in Europe and they’ve reached a League Cup Final that nobody is interested in. Their defence is shocking, their coaching staff is shocking, the fans love Ange Postecoglou because he answers snide questions from the press with snide answers. I can’t believe how far Celtic have gone backwards as a club and it’s very very sad.”

Jake Curley, emailed : “Steven Gerrard could not get Rangers started this season but I still wish him well at Aston Villa. Gio van Bronckhorst is a step up. We needed a two goal victory against Sparta and that’s what we got. Rangers will go up the gears now.”

Terry Donnelly, Dunfermline, said: “Watching Hearts just now is like watching a disaster movie. You know something is going to happen, but you don’t know when. The next three games will show us what we are made of.”

Lance Little, Erskine, said: “Just when you think things can’t get any more embarrassing at Rangers, they prove us wrong.

“Their decision to ban a pundit from Ibrox to work for BTSport because of who he is and that he tells truths about the club is so wrong. This club and support would need a blow torch to their necks to feel any embarrassment.”

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