BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Livingston star Jordan White insists David Hopkin has earned his crack at the top job at Almondvale on merit – and has no doubt the new boss will salvage their Championship status.
The West Lothian outfit ended their search for a new manager this week by appointing the former Scotland internationalist as successor to Mark Burchill.
As caretaker manager, ex-Leeds, Crystal Palace and Leeds man Hopkin guided the Lions to a 4-1 win against St Mirren before successive 2-0 defeats against Falkirk and Queen of the South.
The likes of Ian Murray and Danny Lennon were linked with the post, nevertheless White is adamant Hopkin has the qualities to succeed in his first permanent managerial post ahead of more experienced candidates.
The 23-year-old told Capital City Press: “Since taking charge, he has been very good and really positive. He deserves a chance in the job.
“He has very good ideas, is a really good coach and I’m looking forward to working under him. It will obviously take a wee bit of time to implement what he wants, but I’m excited about it.
“You have to respect him. He has played at a very high level so knows what he is talking about – this isn’t a rookie or anything. He has done plenty in his career, for club and country.
“The gaffer has also coached for a long time with Morton, who are a big club, and you can see that shining through in the sessions.”
However, with Hopkin only handed a contract until the end of the season, his future is likely to rest on whether he can avoid the drop.
They are currently three points adrift of safety, but seven points clear of rock-bottom Alloa, and White is sure the Lions can roar to safety – and help Hopkin land an extended stay in the dugout.
He said: “First and foremost, I want to keep this club in the Championship, for my own personal pride and for the supporters.
“If that helps to seal a job for David [Hopkin], then fantastic. It was a similar situation with Mark [Burchill] last season.
“As the gaffer will say himself, it’s about what the team achieves and we want to climb out of the relegation zone and get as far up this table as possible. I believe we can do that.”
Hopkin’s first outing as Livingston manager will come against the club which he represented as a player, coach and caretaker boss when Livi face Morton in the Scottish Cup on Saturday.
White, who has notched eight goals this term, added: “Managers change and, as players, we need to get on with it and respond.
“That is what we will try to do against Morton, particularly after a disappointing result last week. We want to pick ourselves up because we know we are a lot better than what we showed against Queen of the South.”