David Hopkin sure Livingston can pull back deficit

Livingston manager David Hopkin
Livingston manager David Hopkin
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Livingston manager David Hopkin insists his side can turn things around against Stranraer tomorrow in the second leg of their play-off clash.

The Lions face a mammoth task if they are to preserve their Championship status after suffering a surprise 5-2 defeat at Stair Park on Wednesday night in the first meeting between the sides.

The former Scotland internationalist admits he couldn’t have envisaged the manner of the defeat after striker Jordan White had given Livi the lead in the tenth minute. But, some catastrophic defending from the visitors paved the way for the hosts to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

Acknowledging an early goal for the home side at the Tony Macaroni Arena tomorrow could be the catalyst for a remarkable turnaround, Hopkin says his players must approach the tie with the belief they can claw back the three-goal deficit .

“Some of the defending on Wednesday night was schoolboy stuff,” the Livi boss said.

“I thought when Stranraer put us under pressure we looked as if we could concede almost every time.

“I don’t think they really had to work for anything so it’s the same things I keep saying every week.

“When we got back to 3-2, I thought ‘let the game die down’ and then we made another mistake. But we’re still in the tie.

“We’ll freshen the team up, it’s a bigger pitch so hopefully we can get the ball down and move it that wee bit quicker.

“I would have taken a 3-2 defeat but not 5-2. It just makes our job a lot harder.

“Our place will be a different kettle of fish for them so I am still positive.

“If we score an early goal then that will really help settle us.

“I imagine Stranraer will come and sit in and make it as difficult as they can but we need to show our hunger.

“If you look at Alloa last season, they were 3-1 down to Forfar after the first leg and came back to win so we know we’ve got to keep going.

“The fans have got to get behind us and I know they will be angry and disappointed after Wednesday but we need to stick together.”