Livingston battling to keep second-tier status

Livingston manager David Hopkin has issued a rallying call for fans to get behind the team as they try today to recover from a 5-2 first leg defeat by Stranraer in the Championship play-off semi-final.

Livingston manager David Hopkin still believes his team can prevail against Stranraer. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

Hopkin, who has apologised for the showing that has put their Championship status at risk, is hoping that the club’s supporters will now help them with what he sees as a difficult but not impossible task at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

He said: “We know that we let people down and there is a lot of injured pride. There has been a real determination in training to put things right.

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“We know that recovering from three goals down is difficult but it is not impossible, however we need help from the fans to get us there.”

Stranraer manager Brian Reid reckons that his players responded well to being written off and now they need to respond well to being the favourites to go through.

Reid said: “We got fed up 
with people talking about a Livingston against Ayr or Peterhead final and were determined to show that we were not just there to make up the numbers.

“We put on a terrific display and now need to get the job completed with some expectation on us.”

In the other semi-final, Ayr United are 4-1 up on visitors Peterhead but Somerset Park manager Ian McCall has 
given his players a warning.

“Peterhead have Rory McAllister back and he is a talent,” McCall said. “He scored five goals in the one game against Falkirk earlier this season so we have to be on our guard.”