David Martindale is taking a pragmatic approach to Livingston’s plight as he refuses to consider the possibility of some outside help.

A goalless home draw against Aberdeen at the weekend closed the gap behind second-bottom Ross County to nine points with six cinch Premiership games remaining.

The ideal scenario for the Livi boss this weekend would be three points against third-placed Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday and a Staggies defeat at home to title-chasing Rangers on Sunday, which would instil added interest into the five post-split games where the West Lothian side would have one fixture against County.

However, Martindale is focused only on his side’s game against the Jambos. He said: “We have to look at ourselves and what we can affect. I can’t control Ross County v Rangers so don’t really put too much emphasis on that.

“You can flip that, you have to be pragmatic as well, it could be a 12-point gap. So I am not focusing on what happens between Rangers and Ross County.

“I will focus on what we can control and afterwards we will regroup and assess where we are in the league.

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“I have to put all my energy and positivity into how we go to Tynecastle, how do we affect that game and how do we pick points up.

“That’s where my main focus lies. We need to go out and win the next game of football.

“Hearts are sitting in third place for a reason at the this time they are the third best team in the country by a considerable distance.

“There is no use looking elsewhere. The belief is still there and I will make sure the belief is still there, in terms of you can only focus on yourself.

“I am not delusional. It is going to be a big ask to stay in the league but we can.

“But I don’t want to sound delusional because I know how challenging this season has been for everyone, not just myself, the players and staff, the non-football staff at the club, the fans and the local community.”