KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
Hopkin’s Livingston off to a strong start to term
Livingston head coach David Hopkin challenged his players not to let their standards slip after a successful start to the season.
A late Betfred Cup defeat at Premiership Hibs was sandwiched in between away league victories against Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Falkirk in a hectic week for the club, with those results seeing the Lions sitting fourth in the Championship table after seven games.
They welcome part-time Dumbarton to the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday and the boss is determined to see his side continue their impressive form but knows picking up three points will be no easy task.
He commented: “We had a very challenging week and came away with two wins and three very good performances but the challenge is to keep it up.
“We have a very difficult home game against Dumbarton who are a tough team to beat.
“Stevie Aitken has done a great job at the club and kept them in the Championship every year. That’s something we need to emulate and look towards because we want to be a stable Championship side.
“They know how to play and pick up results in this league and that’s been shown now over a number of seasons. You only need to look at the table and their points tally to see that it’s going to be a very tough game on Saturday.”
He added: “It’s a very difficult league and every game poses different challenges and formations and ideas from the opposition that you have to prepare for and take into account. Dumbarton have some attributes that they are very good at and we need to combat that.”
Livi will have to do without centre- back Declan Gallagher after his dismissal against Falkirk with the gaffer believing the defender was hard done by. He said: “The ref has given it as a straight red and I think it was a very harsh decision. We couldn’t really see it in the video but looking at it in real time it seemed harsh.
“It was a yellow card for me and I don’t think anyone would have complained with him being sent-off for two yellows, but it was a straight red and a two-game ban which I don’t think was correct. It certainly wasn’t a reckless, dangerous challenge.”
Joining Gallagher on the sidelines will be Italian winger Raffa de Vita, who is recovering from an ankle knock sustained last week against Hibs while Scott Robinson and Ross Brown could also miss out due to injury.
For a full match report on Livi’s win over Falkirk, turn to pages 54-55.
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