JOHN McGLYNN believes that bringing through Livingston’s next batch of young talent will help soften the blow of losing two of the club’s biggest stars.
The Championship side said farewell to Stefan Scougall last week after the midfielder completed a move to Sheffield United and he was quickly followed out of the Almondvale exit door by rising star Coll Donaldson, who has agreed terms on a switch to Queens Park Rangers.
Livingston manager McGlynn admits that both players will be a huge loss to his side but, having seen the club recover from the departures of players such as Robert Snodgrass and Graham Dorrans in the past, believes the Lions can overcome high-profile exits once again.
McGlynn said: “I have mixed emotions, obviously, because both Stefan and Coll are really good players and no-one wants to lose that kind of quality from their team.
“They did a good job for us and had a lot of potential. Both Sheffield United and QPR saw that and decided to make them part of their team as a result. I’m disappointed to lose them but a part of me is satisfied that the players have done a good job for team, Stefan for three years and Coll, who really came into his own this season.
“They are both ready to further their careers and that is what Livingston have done in the past. Players have come through, they’ve developed, made a positive impression on the team, and then moved on.
“I have only worked with them for four months and I can only say that they were both excellent to work with, they were professional and hardworking. They were a pleasure to work with. A lot of people, their former managers, coaches and scouts, all deserve a massive pat on the back for the way that have developed as players and as people. There is a sense of pride there but that is countered by a disappointment that the Livingston fans will no longer see them play in their colours.”
However, McGlynn is hoping that he can fill the gaps left by Scougall and Donaldson’s departures by bringing in some more new faces.
He has already signed Kyle Jacobs – who had a short stint with Kilmarnock – for his second spell at Almondvale, and Slovakian defensive midfielder Michal Habai, who previously played with Morton.
Goalkeeper Darren Jamieson has agreed a two-year extension to his contract, keeping him with Livingston until the end of season 2016/17 at least. And McGlynn revealed that he is looking to further strengthen his squad before the transfer windows closes tomorrow night as he pushes for promotion to the Scottish Premiership.
He continued: “We have brought in two players already and we’re hoping to add a couple more. There’s no doubting that Stefan and Coll were good individuals, but now we have got the opportunity to strength our team as a whole.
“We signed Kyle Jacobs last week, Darren Jamieson has extended his stay and this week we brought in Michal Habai.
“We are looking to push for maybe a couple of other new players, maybe another couple of defenders. That’s the area we are looking to strengthen because this is a very tight league and I think that would give us a fairly strong squad and one that could cope with injuries and suspensions, which are inevitable.
“We are two points away from the play-off places and Dumbarton, who are in fourth position right now.
“There are 15 games left – and hopefully more if you count the play-offs.”
The first of those 15 remaining games comes this weekend when Livingston play host to Queen of the South on Saturday afternoon.
McGlynn revealed that he is hoping to have a full squad to choose from, with striker Andy Barrowman nearing full fitness again. The Lions boss continued: “Andrew trained with the rest of the squad on Tuesday and looked better than has done. He was out with a groin injury and then suffered a foot injury on his way back.
“He’ll train again today and tomorrow and hopefully should be fit and available for Saturday.
“Other than that. we don’t have any injury or suspensions worries, so we’re just looking forward to the game.”