David Hopkin insists coaching is more important than cash as Livingston attempt to stun Rangers

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BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport

Livingston head coach David Hopkin hopes budgets will count for nothing when the Championship strugglers attempt to stun Rangers at Ibrox.

The Glasgow outfit have already signed Harry Forrester in this transfer window and tied up pre-contracts for Accrington pair Josh Windass and Matt Crooks.

The Gers are also pursuing Brentford’s Toumani Diagouraga and St Johnstone star Michael O’Halloran.

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Livi will attempt to stun the Championship leaders on Saturday

By contrast, Livingston are working with a minute budget and have been forced to offset the arrivals of Mark Fotheringham, Marc McCallum, Craig Halkett and loanee Sam Stanton with the exits of Hugo Faria and Ross Millen.

Hopkin acknowledges the chasm between the clubs, in terms of league position and resources, but insists he believes his side can spring an almighty upset.

He told Capital City Press: “I think everyone knows where they stand in Scottish football and the difference in budgets between ourselves and Rangers – but budgets don’t bother me.

“I’m a great believer in coaching the team well, improving players and making the best of what we have. I don’t worry about the money side of things.

“Winning football matches doesn’t come down to money. It’s about organising your team and trying to counter the strengths of the opposition. That’s my focus and my philosophy.

“Our players have got to believe. We’ve brought in a few players, which has added quality to the squad, and hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves at Ibrox.

“We need to be wary of what Rangers can do to us, of course. They are a great team with great players and we need to stay focused. However, we will have a game-plan and belief.”

Dedication

Hopkin will travel to Ibrox with a former Rangers youngster in tow following the signing of Halkett on Wednesday, with the former Scotland under-19 cap penning a deal until the end of the season.

The Livi boss revealed the  20-year-old earned his move through sheer hard work and application in a short trial period.

Hopkin added: “Craig came in to train and he really impressed us. He’s a big, strong, commanding boy. He’s a talent now and he’s also one for the future – because I’m building for next season as well.

“His enthusiasm and gym work have been top notch and we’ve all been really impressed by his attitude. Anyone who shows that desire and dedication will have a real chance.”

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