BY DARREN JOHNSTONE @CCP_Sport
New Livingston head coach David Hopkin admits George Graham had the greatest influence on him as a player, but the former Scotland midfielder has vowed to be his own man in the Lions dugout.
Hopkin was appointed as Mark Burchil’s successor on Tuesday following three games as caretaker manager of the Championship strugglers.
Preserving the club’s status in the second tier is Hopkin’s main priority but the 45-year-old will officially kick off his reign in the Scottish Cup with a visit of hometown team Morton tomorrow.
Hopkin has his own blueprint for success but admits his time under legendary Scots manager Graham at Leeds United is something he will not forget.
Hopkin, who also turned out for Chelsea and Crystal Palace after beginning his career with Ton, said: “Everybody takes small bits from managers you’ve worked under before but you want to be your own man.
“I played under so many managers but anybody that played under George Graham will tell you he was probably the best and he should probably be still working in the game.
“He had an aura about him, training was great, he has a great presence about the club.
“But I would like to think I’ve worked hard to get here.
“I’ve got a philosophy on the way I want to play but it might take three or four weeks to get that across to the players. I’m looking forward to it.”
Hopkin was initially appointed Burchill’s assistant last January and admits he did not envisage replacing him at the West Lothian outfit.
He added: “I wanted to become a manager one day but it was never in my thoughts here because we had been doing well – football changes very quickly.
“I’ve been offered an opportunity and I’ve taken it.
“I think everyone that gets involved in football wants to have a go at it, I’ve been involved in coaching the last seven, eight years working with kids at a younger level.”