David Martindale has reminded his Livingston players that Betfred Cup final places are up for grabs in the next two league games.
Livi face Scottish Premiership away games at Dundee United and St Mirren before they take on St Johnstone at Hampden Park on Sunday, February 28.
The West Lothian club will contest their first major cup final since they won the League Cup by beating Hibernian at the national stadium in 2004 and Martindale – ahead of the trip to United on Saturday – said: “They are all fighting for their places.
“Let’s be honest, if we go and lose the next two games you are going to re-evaluate everything.
“Again it will go on performances. We are into a week-to-week fixture schedule, hopefully.
“The boys who start tomorrow have a fantastic opportunity to stake a claim for the cup final, go and keep the jersey and that should carry on to the next game, especially when you are on a week-to-week schedule.
“If we have midweek games it probably allows for other boys to come out and get a rest and boys to come in.
“But if we are on a week to week schedule up to the cup final, the boys who start on Saturday – go and stake your claim for the cup final.
“I think it is a huge incentive. We have a fantastic group of players and they all know what is at stake.”
Livingston lost their first game in 15 since Martindale stepped up to become boss when they went down 2-1 to St Johnstone last week.
However, the Lions boss insists he will not deviate from the norm as he looks to get back on track against United.
He said: “Our processes don’t change, win, lose or draw.
“We have got this far in the last four or five years by doing what we do between the players and backroom staff so we are more than happy with what we do at the club,
“(We will) just keep trusting the process and when we go out on Saturday we need to kick on.”
Livingston have beaten United home and away this season but Martindale has full respect for Micky Mellon and his side who won their first game in nine away when they beat Ross County 2-0 in Dingwall last week.
He said: “A lot of the talk was they weren’t having a great season but I never bought into that at all.
“They have a very good group of players and Micky Mellon is doing really well with them.
“That victory will bring them into the game with a wee bit of confidence.
“When you look at the forward line, Lawrence Shankland, Marc McNulty and Nicky Clark, they could probably walk into most teams outside the Old Firm.”