BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Former Scotland internationalist David Hopkin has been confirmed as the new Livingston manager until the end of the season.
The 45-year-old has taken charge of the West Lothian side’s last three matches following the shock dismissal of Mark Burchill, leading the Lions to a 4-1 win against St Mirren before successive 2-0 defeats against Falkirk and Queen of the South.
That leaves Livi second-bottom of the Championship, seven points ahead of Alloa, but three points adrift of Dumbarton in their quest for safety.
Nevertheless, Hopkin has done enough to land the top job ahead of around 20 other applicants who were considered for the vacancy.
A Livingston spokesperson confirmed: “David’s intimate knowledge of the existing playing squad, awareness of the ongoing need to develop the pipeline of youth talent, combined with his desire to succeed, were all viewed as key factors in appointing him to the role.
“David understands how important it is for the club and our supporters to retain our championship status, and work within existing budgets to ensure the ongoing financial stability of the football club.”
Hopkin, who was brought to the club as Burchill’s assistant last January, becomes Livingston’s 12th manager in just ten years and, although he boasts considerable coaching experience, this represents his first permanent managerial post.
The former Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leeds United midfielder has previously enjoyed two separate stints as caretaker boss of Morton, and managed their reserve side for three years.
Speaking prior to his appointment, Hopkin outlined what he could bring to the role: “I think anyone who goes into coaching wants to be their own man.
“I was at Morton for three years as head of their development squad and in that time there were around 14 kids who made their debut. Many are still playing now.
“In that respect, coaching is what I am good at – I get the best out of players and make players better.”
However, he is acutely aware of the need for January reinforcements, having admitted following Saturday’s defeat against Queen’s that his side were down to the bare bones.
He said: “We need experienced players to help us where we are and that’s something that needs to be addressed. I’ve got nothing and it’s a very hard job.”
Hopkin’s first fixture as permanent boss will come on Saturday when Livi host his former club, Morton, in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.