BY DARREN JOHNSTONE @CCP_Sport
Livingston midfielder Kieran Gibbons admits he is desperate to get the Lions’ season back on track in today’s crucial relegation battle at St Mirren – and silence former Aberdeen team-mate Lawrence Shankland in the process.
The West Lothian outfit will attempt to refocus on the pitch this afternoon following a turbulent week that began with the shock dismissal of manager Mark Burchill.
But with assistant boss David Hopkin handed interim control of first team affairs, Livingston, who are currently in the Championship relegation play-off zone, know victory in Paisley will see them swap places with the Buddies.
Gibbons said: “It’s a case of trying to make sure we’re focussed for Saturday, Hoppy has been taking the training and he’s quite similar to the previous manager in the way that they both want us to express ourselves and try to play football when it’s on.
“We are gutted the manager left but it’s about moving forward.
“We know we’re a good team, we have perhaps not managed to reach the standards that we set earlier in the season in our last ten matches but hopefully we can get back to that.
“Saturday is the big one for us, I know it sounds cliched and boring but it really is about taking every game as it comes with the position we’re in.”
Gibbons knows striker Shankland, who is on loan at St Mirren from Aberdeen, from their days at Pittodrie and is keen to get one over on the 20-year-old.
Gibbons added: “I played alongside Lawrence last year for Aberdeen and I would like to think I know his game well.
“A lot of the boys from that Aberdeen team stay in touch and it would be good to get a win to keep Lawrence quiet.
“He’s the same age as me and he joined when I was in my second year at Aberdeen.
“He went back out on loan to Dunfermline and then in my third year I was injured so it was only really last season that we played together.
“With his attributes he has the ability to be a success at Aberdeen.
“He links the play up well and if you give him a chance in front of goal he’ll take it.
“He’ll be on a high as well after scoring the other week against Alloa.
“We’ll need to keep him quiet but we’ve got good defenders that we will hopefully be able to do that.”