Livingston manager David Hopkin says he now has a group of players who believe they can win football matches.
The Lions have picked up four points from their last two fixtures to ease their fears of automatic relegation, Livi now eight points above bottom side Alloa in ninth with just a quarter of the season remaining.
Last weekend’s 3-1 triumph over the Wasps and Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with promotion play-off hopefuls Morton, has lifted some of the gloom over the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Hopkin says the seven players recruited during January’s transfer window have brought a much-needed freshness to his squad, whose members now go out believing they can take points off any side.
“We’ve got a team that has real belief and that’s been the big difference,” the former Scotland internationalist said. “That’s the last three home games now where we haven’t been beaten [Falkirk, Hibs and Morton]. We know we’ve got some nice ball players who want to play but we can also work the other side of it too. We’ve got a bit of steel and character in the dressing room but nothing’s been done yet. We need to carry on and keep improving. It’s a very young team we have with the average age being 21 so, from that perspective, to be playing against teams who have been together for years is very encouraging.”
Hopkin felt his side more than warranted their point against Jim Duffy’s Morton but was left slightly frustrated his players couldn’t make it back-to-back victories in the Championship for the first time since October.
“The game on Tuesday was very hurly burly,” he said. “Morton are a very hard-working team and the front two caused problems but, at the same time, we created some chances where I think we should score. Josh Mullin and Charlie Telfer put some great crosses into the box but overall I was happy with a point.”
Hopkin appreciates the importance of picking up three points against visitors Dumbarton tomorrow as Livi attempt to overhaul their opponents who are four points better off in eighth. With that in mind, the former Leeds and Crystal Palace striker says he and his players are focusing on one game at a time.
“They are all massive games to be honest,” he said. “We got a good three points last weekend, another point on Tuesday but Dumbarton are playing very well at this moment in time so it’s going to be a really difficult game. But it’s one we’re looking forward to. It’s been a good week taking four points from six so I think I would have taken that this time last week.”