David Hopkin returns to Greenock Morton as manager vowing to 'make them better'

David Hopkin left Livingston after steering the club from League One to the Premiership
Hopkin left Livingston after steering them from League One to the Premiership with back-to-back promotions

Former Scotland midfielder David Hopkin has returned to Greenock Morton as manager promising current and future players "I will make them better".

The 48-year-old has signed a three-year contract with the club he supported as a boy and with whom he began his playing career.

He also had two spells as caretaker manager with the Championship outfit.

"So to get to become the manager is fantastic," Hopkin told the Morton website.

"Everybody knows I've been a supporter since I was knee high.

"Was it my ambition to be Morton manager one day? Everybody has ambitions, but sometimes it's also about the timing and when you think things are right."

Hopkin's chance comes as replacement for Jonatan Johansson, who departed after his side flirted with relegation, with Dave MacKinnon also replacing Warren Hawke as chief executive.

The new manager will look to repeat the success achieved with Livingston, who he led to successive promotions in 2017 and 2018 but left after winning the Scottish Premiership play-off.

Hopkin, hailed as "a phenomenal coach" by Morton chairman Crawford Rae, joined English League One club Bradford City in September but resigned in February after winning seven of his 35 matches.

"I had one or two other options, but I spoke to Crawford and David and they were very positive and want to build the club up," he said.

The former Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leeds United midfielder has already made a decision to make change to his squad's training arrangements, saying "we will be based at Cappielow from now on" so players will "get to know the staff and the stadium".

"It's going to be a small squad and we have to consider which players we can afford and which types of players we bring in," Hopkins said.

"One thing I can say is that anybody who stays here, anybody who is working with me, that I will make them better players and that they will enjoy it."

Rae hopes appointing Hopkins will help "bring absent supporters back to Cappielow".

"Attracting David back to the club is a massive coup for us, especially when he has been offered so many positions since leaving Livingston," he said.

"David knows that it will take time to build and mould his team for the future, which is why we are both delighted to commit to a three-year term."

Former Finland forward Johansson and assistant Peter Houston left their roles a few hours before the final game of the season, with the Greenock side finishing fifth in the Championship.

Johansson took over in September after Ray McKinnon elected to join second-tier rivals Falkirk.

Top Stories