MArk Fotheringham says the hard-working ethos of Livingston’s coaching staff persuaded the experienced midfielder to join the Championship outfit until the end of the season.
The former Dundee and Norwich City player had been without a club since leaving Fulham this time last year, but has opted to return to West Lothian and a club he previously made 11 appearances for in 2011.
And, the 32-year-old, who played 90 minutes in last weekend’s Scottish Cup defeat to Morton, couldn’t speak highly enough of his new gaffer.
“I love the way David Hopkin sees the game, his ideas are exactly how I see it,” said Fotheringham. “But also David Martindale [first-team coach], I’ve never seen someone work as hard at this level as he does – he works like a trojan so that gave me a real enthusiasm to come back to the club.
“I had various offers around England before I joined Livi, the likes of Plymouth with Derek Adams to teams out in the Greek Superleague. But I moved my family down to London last season so it was quite unsettling. I am one of these players where you either love me or can’t stand me so I have had a difficult relationship with managers in the past. I am a guy who speaks his mind and have a lot of views on how to play football.
“I’ve been keeping myself fit, though, despite having been without a club for so long. I’ve been over in Germany training with Frankfurt as well as being out in Greece, so I haven’t been injured. It’s never ideal for a footballer to be out for so long but I’ve still got the drive and determination. I love going into training as I really missed the banter with the lads. I really enjoy working with the young lads too as you want to help them as much as you can so I take a lot of satisfaction from that.”
Tomorrow’s trip to face league leaders Rangers at Ibrox holds little fear for a player who believes Livi are more than capable of producing an upset if they go there with every intention of securing the three points.
“Ibrox is a great place to go and play as they’re one of the biggest clubs in the world,” he said. “The surface is always excellent and the turnout they get there is always unbelievable.
“They are pushing for the title so it will be a great atmosphere. But we’ve got to go there and be competitive and give a good account of ourselves. I’m ready to go again after playing in last week’s match and I don’t see why we can’t go there and spring a surprise.”