David Hopkin will hold talks tomorrow with the Livingston board over a new contract but admits he is relishing the prospect of locking horns with the Scottish Premiership’s leading coaches next season.
Hopkin led Livingston back into the top flight for the first time since 2006 as they completed a 3-1 aggregate victory over Partick Thistle in the second leg of the Premiership play-off final at Firhill yesterday.
Former Scotland midfielder Hopkin’s future remains unresolved beyond the close season and the jubilant travelling Livingston fans chanted loudly for him to sign a new deal during their promotion celebrations.
“My future always gets tied up in the summer,” said Hopkin. “There might be speculation and people are trying to get me to say stuff but there’s nothing on the table. I’ve spoken to the board and we’ll chat again, probably on Tuesday now.
“I’ve always been open with the board. I’ve always said if anything comes along they’ve always been very good with me and both parties are honest enough.
“We’ll see where the talks take us. Interest is going to come when you get promoted, at least you’re doing your job right and are not being pushed out the door. When I took the job on I wanted to make sure I was here long term and I’ve now been here for more than 120 games and it has been mostly successful but it’s down to hard work by the playing staff and the players.
“I haven’t thought yet about what we will need in the Premiership. We’re there now and I’m going to have a week off and then we’ll see what happens. Obviously, we need to get players in but I won’t get players who will cost the club money because surely we are going to be favourites to be relegated.
“I’ll get players with a wee bit more experience but they won’t be those who will be breaking the bank. It must be young, hungry players who want a challenge and it will probably be Championship players we look to bring in to make sure they give us the effort and want to play in the Premiership.
“You’re seeing Scottish football becoming a haven for top managers now – Steve Clarke, Brendan Rodgers, Neil Lennon and now Steven Gerrard. A lot of people are seeing an opportunity.”
Keaghan Jacobs scored the only goal of the second leg for Livingston to scupper Partick’s hopes of recovering their 2-1 first-leg deficit. Thistle boss Alan Archibald will take time to consider his own position after his club’s five-year stay in the Premiership came to an end.
“I feel responsible,” said Archibald. “I’ve been with the club for 20 years since joining as a player and I know how hard it is for the fans. We are all hurting. It is very raw and I haven’t thought about my future. There will be changes and cuts all over, so it is important we are in a good place to come back up.
“I will look at myself and the playing staff. We have made excuses along the way and we have had a number of chances to get out of it and we haven’t done enough.”