David Hopkin: Livingston manager to speak to board after winning promotion

David Hopkin
David Hopkin has led Livingston to successive promotions

Livingston manager David Hopkin intends to speak to the club's board about his future early this week after leading them back to Scotland's top flight.

Livi completed a 3-1 aggregate win over Partick Thistle in the Premiership play-off final to return to the top flight, having last been there in 2006.

Manager Hopkin, who took over in 2015 and won last year's League One title, is out of contract this summer.

"I'm going into speak to the board tomorrow," said Hopkin.

"We'll sit down Monday, Tuesday and I'll have a chat with the board," added the 47-year-old.

"It's a magnificent achievement - two promotions in two years is fantastic. You can see today, I think the club deserves it.

"We've worked hard to try to get the fans back. It's fantastic. Hopefully, next year they'll all turn up and that'll be us. I'm delighted for everybody connected with the club, delighted for my family. We'll have a right good night tonight and football's out my mind until next week."

Livingston celebrate
Livingston are heading back to the top flight after a 12-year absence

Former Scotland midfielder Hopkin took charge of Livi in December 2015, but could not prevent them being relegated to League One that season.

But they bounced straight back to the Championship a year ago, and finished runners-up to champions St Mirren this term, before overcoming Dundee United then Thistle in two-leg play-offs.

"It's everything," Hopkin said. "I didn't expect it to happen and this is the hardest way to go up.

"We do things the hard way here, but I've got to give great credit to the players. They were magnificent for me."

Keaghan Jacobs scored in both legs of the Premiership play-off final and is contracted until the end of next season, as is veteran forward Lee Miller.

However, defensive stalwart and captain Craig Halkett, and goalkeeper Neil Alexander, who saved a late Conor Sammon penalty in Sunday's 1-0 win at Firhill, are among those out of contract in the coming weeks.

"I certainly hope I'll be there [in the Premiership next season]," said 40-year-old Alexander, who won three Scotland caps earlier in his career and represented Rangers in the 2008 Uefa Cup final.

Neil Alexander celebrates
Neil Alexander has also featured for Hearts in the Premiership

"The club have made it clear they want me to stay. We have not sat down and negotiated anything yet, but now it is all done, hopefully we will get something sorted.

"Today went to plan. We knew we would be under the cosh for a while, and that is how it proved. But we defended really well, as we have done all season. The boys have been magnificent.

"I managed to make a few saves to keep the pressure off, and it was great to save the penalty and keep a clean sheet.

"There is an unbelievable spirit we have in this team, and I am delighted for the lads."

Jacobs, now in his second spell with the West Lothian side, added: "I am just glad I could help the team. The boys have been magnificent. That epitomizes the season we have had. It has been unreal.

"This means everything. To be going into the top league, especially with this bunch of boys, it is a magnificent feeling."

The rise, fall and rise again of Livingston
1995: Meadowbank Thistle relocated to Livingston and renamed after town
2001: Promoted to Scottish Premier League for first time
2002: Finish third in top flight, behind Celtic & Rangers, qualify for Uefa Cup
2004: Win Scottish League Cup
2006: Relegated from top flight
2009: Almost liquidated; demoted to old Scottish Third Division (now League Two)
2010: Win Third Division title
2011: Win Second Division title
2015: Avoid relegation from Championship in play-offs
2016: Relegated to League One (third tier)
2017: Win League One title
2018: Finish second in Championship; beat Partick Thistle in play-off final

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