DAVID MARTINDALE has challenged Bruce Anderson to grasp his chance to become Livingston’s go-to striker.

Anderson will lead the attack against St Johnstone this weekend following the ankle injury that is likely to keep Andrew Shinnie sidelined until next month.

The summer signing kicked off the campaign as the Lions’ first-choice ‘number nine’ but has not started for the last four games.

Martindale reckons the 23-year-old’s confidence suffered following the diabetic seizure he experienced during the defeat to Hibernian at Easter Road in August.

But he has backed the former Aberdeen striker to prove he can be Livi’s answer as they bid to break a miserable run of just one goal from their last six games and register only a second league victory of the season.

He said: “It goes back to Bruce and he needs to go and try to keep the shirt.

“He came out the team because we had to come up with some sort of game-plan for the Celtic game and obviously Shinnie scored the winner.

“But I’ve got every confidence in Bruce. He’s got the number nine on the back of his shirt this season, but he needs to go and earn the right as well.

“He’ll get another shot at it.

“What happened at Hibs didn’t help him and you can see that confidence-wise, because I think it was the first time it had ever happened to him. So, I think he got a wee bit of a fright.

“Our number nine has got to work extremely hard and I’m sure Bruce can give us that. Hopefully he shows us that.”

Meanwhile, the international break has helped Livingston ease their lengthy injury list.

On-loan Liverpool youngster Adam Lewis and Shinnie are the two remaining absentees, as well as Norwich City loan keeper Daniel Barden.

Martindale added: “We’ve managed to get five back training. Jaze Kabia is back, and Craig Sibbald, Scott Pittman, Keaghan Jacobs and Tom Parkes have all returned to training.

“They’re all at different stages, so Andrew Shinnie and Adam Lewis are now the two still out.

“Shinnie is probably a couple of weeks away. It looked bad and it looked like something was broken but the x-ray came back all good.”