Davie Martindale has vowed that he will be at Livingston for as long as the club want him, but admits he is flattered at being linked with the vacancy at St Johnstone.

Martindale is thought to be among the names being considered by Saints chiefs as they search for a replacement for the sacked Steven MacLean.

The Lions boss has helped the West Lothian club punch above their weight since returning to the Premiership in 2018 - initially as assistant before taking on the reins nearly two years ago.

And Martindale, who has previously spent time in prison for drug offences, has reiterated that he would never turn his back on Livingston without the club’s blessing.

Martindale, who is preparing his team for tomorrow’s trip to Hearts, said: "It's nice to be recognised by other teams but I'm the Livingston manager and I've got a game against Hearts at Tynecastle on Wednesday so it's not really got any of my attention.

"It's flattering if you've got other chief execs linking you to jobs at their clubs - if that's the case - but it's media speculation at this point.

"They'd need to go to the people upstairs. I'll never not be at Livingston if Livingston want me to be at Livingston. 

“I don't care what club comes calling for me. I owe Livingston a huge debt of gratitude, they changed my life and gave me an opportunity in professional football.

"I've had relationships with (chairman) John Ward and (CEO) Dave Black for 10 years, until those two guys tell me my time's up, I'll be at Livingston no matter who makes a phone call.”

And Martindale insists there is no chance he will lose focus amid speculation over his future after seeing how players can become affected by the prospects of moves.

He added: “I love Livingston and I love being the Livingston manager. There's aspects of the job that's testing but I hate it when players come here and I see their performances dip because they're linked with other clubs. I'll never let that happen to me.

"I'm ambitious but I don't come to work not to be at Livingston and that will never, ever change. 

“If I'm at Livingston in one week, one month or 10 years, it's not down to Davie Martindale, it's down to the people above me.

"Would I like that chance (to move) at some stage of my career? Yes. 

"Do I want to be challenging for Europe with a bigger budget and impose my style of play at a club with better finances? Of course, but that doesn't mean I come into my work not to be at Livingston.”

Martindale, meanwhile, has revealed how he allowed Cristian Montano decide how much the wing-back should be fined for a needless sending off in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Dundee.

The Colombian had an initial yellow card upgraded to a red by referee Willie Collum following VAR intervention for a stamp on Malachi Boateng in the second half when the game was still goal-less.

Martindale added: “Has Cristian been fined? Yes, internally - I let him come up with that figure himself. 

“I’m not big on fining players, we’re not on a lot of money at this club. 

“We’re coming up to a period in the season when money is always tight. 

“I let Cristian come up with a proposal for me that was acceptable and he has. 

“I spoke to him at length, he is adamant he didn’t mean it, I don’t think Cristian Montano is a liar. 

“I’ve told him, looking at the footage it looks as though he meant it. 

“He’s apologised to the players and staff and I need to take him at face value. He is a very humble human being, he is sincere - we’ll move on.”