Livingston boss David Martindale hopes home advantage can help them emerge from a tough run of cinch Premiership fixtures in better shape than earlier in the season.
Livi host Hearts on Sunday and Hibernian three days later as they look to bounce back from consecutive defeats by Rangers and Aberdeen.
Martindale’s side are in the midst of a run of seven games against Scotland’s biggest six clubs and also St Mirren, who they drew with last month.
The run mirrors the difficulty of their opening to the season, which they started with four points from their opening seven matches, and Martindale is realistic but optimistic about their hopes in the coming week.
“We are back into that run of really, really tough fixtures that we had at the start of the year,” he said. “But it’s nice to be back at home.
“I do believe Aberdeen will be up there at the end of the season.
“Hearts have got the points on the table and they are formidable opponents and you can’t write Hibs off. I think Hibs will start climbing the table as well. You just need to look at them beating Rangers 3-1 at Hampden and that tells you all you need to know.
“Before the Rangers game, everybody was going, ‘Davie, if you win this and win that you could be in the top six’. And I was thinking ’10th is the target here’.
“You lose to Rangers at home – and it was a decent enough performance – and lose to Aberdeen away, and suddenly ‘Livingston are terrible, they are going to get relegated’.
“I try to put it in perspective. We went through this same run of fixtures playing against all the top teams. The only one out of that was Motherwell who beat us 2-1 with a late goal.
“This time round we are going through it again but we have had St Mirren, who aren’t in the top six.
“At this point in time we are probably sitting a point worse off than we were, so we are going into the Hearts and Hibs game with a chance to do something at home.”
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