Livingston are set to welcome back talisman striker Joel Nouble for Sunday’s televised clash with Hearts.The 27-year-old hasn’t featured since before the winter break due to knee inflammation and while Lions boss David Martindale is delighted to have him back fighting fit he also heaped praise on the side for climbing into the top four despite him being sidelined.Livi go into the clash on a five-match unbeaten run which included a come-from-behind 3-1 Scottish Cup victory away to Stenhousemuir at the weekend.Speaking to the Courier, Martindale said: “I should have Joel back for Sunday.
I’m fairly confident he can make the bench. It would be great to have him back. There’s been a couple of wee setbacks with his knee but we think we’ve got it sorted.“There’s definitely a decent chance he’ll be in the squad for the Hearts game and that will give everyone a boost.“I would say, though, that the team deserve massive credit for their performances over recent weeks.
He’s such a vital player to this team – I think you’d say the best attacking player – but they’ve managed to get into fourth place and we’re there on merit just now.“Getting Joel back gives us other options and also makes the attacking third a bit deeper.”Martindale also heaped praise on their opponents – but believes his side are more than capable of picking up the points in front of the Sky cameras.He added: “I think most people, including myself, would have had Hearts as the third best team before the season and I think they’re really starting to show that.“Not having European football has helped with the schedule and they’ve pushed themselves up the table on merit.“I’ve got a huge amount of respect for Hearts and how they work both on and off the field.Read more on dailyrecord.co.uk