Matthew Knox: Livingston boss hopes to ward off interest in teenager

Matthew Knox
Knox started his first match for Livingston in the 1-0 win over Rangers

Livingston manager David Hopkin believes he can ward off interest from top clubs to retain 16-year-old midfielder Matthew Knox.

Knox set up the only goal on his first start as Livi beat title-winners Rangers, where he spent time training earlier this season.

Chelsea, Everton, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are also interested.

"I am fighting tooth and nail with the board, and I think they are going to back me, to keep him," Hopkin said.

"He is a phenomenal talent and there is a lot of clubs interested in him.

"I want to keep him for an extra year or two years and develop him myself because I think he is going to be something special.

"He has only turned 16 and he came out and put in a performance like that against the top team in the Championship and probably one of the top teams in Scotland.

"He didn't look out of place and it is great credit to the kid."

Hopkin's chances of retaining Knox, who made six appearances from the bench before his starting bow, will be improved if they can avoid relegation.

Having already been consigned to second-bottom place, Livingston must come through the play-offs if they are to retain their place in the Championship next season.

"We know it is going to be a difficult task whoever we play, but we've been playing well enough," Hopkin told BBC Scotland.

"Apart from last Saturday [a 3-1 loss at Queen of the South], I am delighted with the way it's going and we are a club that's trying to build something here and trying to bring young players through and develop them and, as long as I am here, that's what we'll do.

"After Saturday's performance, we were a wee bit down and I changed the team and gave a few young boys a chance and Matthew Knox his debut.

"We've only got 15-16 players. I think it is the youngest Livingston team ever, so to get a result and performance like that, I am really pleased and it gives us a boost going into the play-offs."

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