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MIGHTY Marvin Andrews yesterday challenged Scotland's clubs to copy Livingston instead of running scared of the Old Firm.


The Almondvale club can clinch third place in the SPL today by beating Hearts in Edinburgh and write the final chapter in a fairytale season.

Few people outside the West Lothian outfit believed they'd be rubbing shoulders with Europe's elite next season after winning promotion to Scotland's premier division.

Most expected a collapse but instead they confounded their critics and claimed a UEFA Cup berth through attacking, entertaining football.

"There's no doubt we've surprised ourselves with what has been achieved this season," said Andrews.

"Our target initially was to avoid relegation. When we were safe our sights were then set on securing a place in the top six. From there it was on to qualifying for Europe.

"As each objective was accomplished our confidence grew. Finishing in third spot in the SPL would be a marvellous reward for all our efforts. But it is not a do-or-die situation because we've exceeded our ambitions. No matter what happens, whether it is Aberdeen or ourselves who end up the best of the rest, we will have had a wonderful season.

"It's all been possible because of the unity within our ranks. Directors, managers, players, fans - we're all one big happy family. It has been a team effort from everyone.

"We have set an example which other small clubs should follow. They should take a page out of our football.

"We tried to win every game, even when it was Rangers or Celtic, and our positive approach has paid off handsomely."

Since moving to Scotland, the giant defender has become a cult figure in his home islands of Trinidad and Tobago where a youth team has been named after him.

Back home he only played part-time with Carib FC, but the manager Tim Nafziger reckoned he was good enough to play professionaly abroad and arranged a trial with Motherwell.

It didn't work out but Jimmy Nicholl, then Raith Rovers' boss, was impressed and signed him for the Starks Park club where his career took off.

Andrews was so commanding there that Livingston bought him to anchor their defence and he has since appeared more than 50 times for his country. But he has never forgotten his roots. "I have never seen my own team yet because I have been so involved with Livingston and international commitments but I'll see them in the close season," Andrews revealed.

"I've tried to help the lads by sending back boots and strips. There is a lot of natural talent back home and the long-term aim is to produce players who will be good enough to come to Scotland and be a success like me."

Although he is perfectly happy at Almondvale, Andrews, 26, has ambitions to play for one of Europe's leading clubs.

And he realises that next season's UEFA Cup campaign will be the ideal platform to prove his credentials.

He added: "There is so much to look forward to at Livingston that I am content to stay here at the moment.

"But before my career is over, I want to play with a leading club in England, Spain or Italy.