New Livingston manager David Hopkin says he is delighted to have fought off some stiff competition to be given the job until the end of the season.
The former Crystal Palace and Leeds striker had been in temporary charge of the Lions’ last three matches following the dismissal of Mark Burchill last month, steering his players to a 4-1 victory over St Mirren on Boxing Day before back-to-back 2-0 defeats to Falkirk and Queen of the South respectively.
However, he has now been handed the reins on a permanent deal.
Former St Mirren managers Danny Lennon and Ian Murray had both been touted as favourites for the job but Hopkin, 45, will now take his first foray into managing full-time.
“There was a lot of interest in the job with a lot of CVs coming in so I’m really happy to be given the chance to prove myself,” Hopkin told the Evening News. “Behind the scenes there has probably been a lot of dialogue between agents, but I am delighted to have been handed the opportunity.
“It was important the club made an appointment sooner rather than later. I’m glad the board has seen enough in the last couple of games to think that we can go forward.
“I think it [length of the contract] suits both parties and then we’ll see where we are then. I just hope we can get the team going in the right direction.”
Hopkin accepts he has an arduous task on his hands to ease the club’s growing relegation fears, Livi currently occupying ninth spot in the Championship and just seven points better off than bottom club Alloa, who have a game in hand.
“We’ve got to get the club away from the bottom,” he said. “It’s not going to happen overnight but I’d like to put my own stamp on the team. I’ve had a chat with the players and they’ve bought into the kind of route we want to go down.
“We’ve not got any money to make any wholesale changes and that’s not something I would do. We might have to try and move a couple of people on this month before we can bring some in, but I’ve not got a lot to work with. We want to bring players in who are ready to go straight into the squad and ready to play.”