David Hopkin glad focus has returned to Livingston

David Hopkin
David Hopkin
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New Livingston boss David Hopkin says he is looking forward to getting back to business on the park ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Morton in the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

The 45-year-old was appointed as manager until the end of the season on Tuesday following the dismissal of Mark Burchill last month.

The former Scotland internationalist had been put in temporary charge of Livi’s last three matches but has now been given the opportunity on a permanent basis.

After steering the Lions to a 4-1 win at St Mirren on Boxing Day, the club have suffered successive 2-0 defeats by Falkirk and Queen of the South in the Championship.

Hopkin admitted preparations over the festive period had been far from ideal given the uncertainty surrounding his own future at the club. However, after agreeing to take the job on until the end of the season, he is now keen for the focus to shift back towards football matters.

“I’m glad everything has now been sorted so we get back to business on the park,” Hopkin said. “It was better the club made an appointment sooner rather than later. We’ve got a huge game tomorrow against Morton but one we’re looking forward to. Every cup match is about trying to get through to the next round and a potential big tie in the draw.

“I’m just looking to get off on the right foot and hopefully we can build on something. We’ve got to try and improve our home form but I think most teams in this league do tend to struggle in front of their own fans. We’ve got to be a lot more organised, we’ve had a full week’s worth of training so the players have responded well.

“I’m looking for a much better performance than we’ve had in the last three or four home games and to get a result.”

Hopkin was complimentary to his opposite number tomorrow, Jim Duffy, the former Hibs boss having worked wonders with the Greenock outfit who are a new addition to Scottish football’s second tier after winning promotion from League One last season.

However, Hopkin will be hoping to utilise his inside knowledge on the visitors having left the reserve team manager’s role at Morton to join Burchill in West Lothian 12 months ago.

“There are four or five of the boys when I was there who are all playing so it will be good to see them,” he said. “Jim Duffy has done a great job there considering he’s only been in the job 18 months or so. He’s an experienced manager whose been around in the game a long time. But my focus is on Livingston and trying to get the club through to the next round of the Scottish Cup.”

One player Hopkin could have at his disposal tomorrow is goalkeeper Marc McCallum, the on-loan Dundee United keeper who spent three months as the Lions No.1 before returning to the Premiership’s bottom side after the victory over St Mirren on Boxing Day. However, Hopkin is still hopeful a deal to bring him back can be done.

“There is still dialogue going on between the clubs so we’re still keen to get him back in,” he said. “But DJ [Darren Jamieson] has come back into the team and he’s had nothing to do the last two games but we’ve lost four goals.”

Livi have signed experienced midfielder Mark Fotheringham until the end of the season, while Portuguese midfielder Hugo Faria has left the club.