Livingston boss Gary Holt brings his Premiership team to La Manga on Tuesday 7 January as he bids to escape the wet and windy outlook in Lothian and the eastern areas of Borders during the coming week.

The former Army chef, who was plucked from the Army side by Man Utd legend Paddy Crerand, joining Celtic, before moving on to Stoke City, Kilmarnock, Norwich and Forest, says that the club, currently lying 5th in Scotland’s top Division, has earned a winter break in the Spanish resort and that it is now heading in the right direction both on and off the park.

Arriving on Tuesday ‘the Lions’ will remain in the Spanish sunshine for six days during which time they will take on Man City hero Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht and Ajax Jong during their stint in the golf resort.

The game against Ajax Jong — the Amsterdam outfit’s B team, who play in the Dutch second tier — will be played on January 8 with Livi then facing Belgian giants Anderlecht on January 11.

Gary Holt told the Scottish Daily Record, “It’s testament to the club. We get a lot of stick but we’re trying to put things in place to improve. It takes time, we can’t just throw money at it because we don’t have it, so you have to be patient and bide your time with things.

“You’ve got to walk before you can run. I said last year that we were toddlers just learning to crawl and I think now that we’re starting to take baby steps.”

He added: “We’re trying to make something on and off the pitch that’s really good and we’ve been given the opportunity to go away, but that only happens from what you get on a Saturday.

“You get the results, you put the work in and you’ll get rewarded. I take my hat off to the club for doing that for us.”

Livi return to domestic duty with a home Scottish Cup tie against third-tier Raith Rovers, and former Livi boss John McGlynn, on January 18.

Image: Livingston FC

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