Livingston 2-1 Partick Thistle: David Hopkin hopes Livi recover for decider

David Hopkin
David Hopkin's side had beaten Dundee United over two legs to set up the meeting with Thistle

David Hopkin says his Livingston players' recovery will be crucial to their hopes of staving off a Partick Thistle comeback on Sunday.

Championship runners-up Livi won the first leg of the Premiership play-off final 2-1 against the Jags.

"Our squad's down to the bare bones and the players give me everything," Hopkin told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

"I'm so proud of every player. We just keep going and we just keep defying the odds."

Kris Doolan headed Thistle ahead at the Tony Macaroni Arena but Keaghan Jacobs quickly levelled before Scott Pittman fired Livingston ahead.

Home players Jordan Thompson and Lee Miller needed treatment on the pitch and were both eventually taken off, with Livi already without the injured Ryan Hardie.

"Tonight, to win 2-1 at home, it's great to finish the season at home with a win," said Hopkin, whose side won promotion to the second tier in 2017. "I thought they were fantastic.

Livingston celebrate

"We score a fantastic equaliser. At half-time, I keep saying, if it had finished at 1-1, I'd have been delighted.

"Josh Mullin's gone and put a fantastic ball in and then Scott Pittman, what a finish it is to go near post.

"The biggest thing about us now is recovery. We've only got 15 fit players. It's about patching players up. We know it's going to be a hard shift on Sunday."

"It's only half-time. I just wish the games were played over one leg."

Partick Thistle now need to score to prevent relegation to the second tier and manager Alan Archibald said of his side's performance in Livingston: "I didn't think we played at all.

"We got drawn into playing long, aimless balls up front to our two strikers, which is something we've not done when we've played that kind of system and that shape recently so that was disappointing.

Alan Archibald speaks to his Partick Thistle players
Archibald's Thistle struggled to get a foothold in the game after Livi's leveller

"The goal probably overshadowed what a bad start we had.

"We've got to get more efforts on goal, we've got to score goals, obviously, to get back into the tie.

"We're fighting for our lives, they're trying to take our place, we've got to make sure we're ready for that."

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