Livingston interim-manager David Hopkin believes the late equaliser scored by Dumbarton’s Steven Saunders last weekend ultimately cost former boss Mark Burchill his job.
Speaking for the first time since the former Celtic striker’s sacking on Monday, Hopkin, who will oversee first-team matters for this afternoon’s clash at St Mirren and Tuesday’s trip to Falkirk, is of the mindset that had Livi held on to claim all three points against the Sons, then Burchill would still be in charge.
Livingston are second bottom of the Championship and have won just three games all season, but Hopkin said: “I think the worst performance there’s been was the defeat to Alloa earlier this month but if we’d held on last Saturday against Dumbarton and had picked up the three points, I don’t think we’d be talking about this. Nothing in football is surprising anymore and things can change at any time. I’ve spoken to Mark, the players, the staff and everyone is disappointed because he is a popular guy.
“It’s really difficult. Mark’s a great friend and is only a young manager but I have no doubts he’ll go on to get another job and become a top manager. I’ll be honest, it’s been a bit of a shock. I thought we’d done a great job over the last year, staying up and winning the Petrofac final. I think there has been improvement this season.”
Hopkin would not be drawn over the possibility of applying for the job himself but did say he expects a number of candidates to throw their hat into the ring.
“I think there will be quite a number of applicants applying for the job so the club is going to have a task looking through those,” he said. “They’ll pick who they believe can take the club forward but I haven’t even thought about taking it on.
“It’s up for everyone to step up to the plate now. We’ve got to go and try and pick up the points this afternoon against St Mirren. We always try and get three points no matter what game we play in. St Mirren have obviously brought in Alex Rae and they’ll be buoyed by the last weekend’s win over Alloa so it should be a good game.
“We’ve had a chat with the boys about everything that’s gone on so we’re all professional. I don’t think I’ll change too much to be honest so we’ll approach the match in exactly the same way.”