ALLAN McGraw admits he didn’t picture his old player David Hopkin would become a manager — but the Morton legend believes he’s been a big success in the dugout so far.

The former Ton boss managed Hopkin when he first broke into the team in 1989, before he was sold to Chelsea for £350,000 in 1992.

Twenty-seven years later Hopkin has returned to Cappielow to become Morton’s manager on a three-year deal.

While McGraw knew some of his squad were built for management, like old midfielder and current Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes, he admits Hopkin wasn’t one he thought would turn to coaching.

But he recognises the 49-year-old has already had great success as a manager in his time at Livingston, overseeing back-to-back promotions with the West Lothian outfit.

He told the Tele: “He was a great player - that’s why we made money out of him!

“He was a strong boy, he had his own opinions, he had his own ideas and I think that’s what’s great - he will come up with something different. There’s some players you always thought would go into management.

“We always thought Derek McInnes would go into coaching.

“He [David] was a great trainer, but I never thought he would be a coach — I didn’t know he was going to be a coach.

“He had ability, but it’s great he’s done it and he’s been tested. Livingston, that’s a test for anybody.”

That spell as Livi boss, when he bounced back from relegation from the Championship in style, earned him plaudits from all across Scotland.

McGraw says working in a pressurised environment and managing to revamp the club in the process, will stand him in good stead at Morton.

He added: “For a young man who has had experience in a tough environment, that will stand him in good stead.

“Most of Livingston’s team was the one he had from before, and they kept playing the way it suited them, and if it’s working well why change it?

“I’ll be honest, I think the Championship is the toughest league out of them all.

“Last year everybody was capable of beating each other, that’s a difficult thing. 

“That’s why it’s important to get a run together.”

McGraw admits he misses the times in the dugout at Cappielow, but he frequently goes to watch Morton games whenever he gets the chance.

He said: “You definitely miss it, but obviously with my age now, I just go along and hope to see good football.

“That’s what I like to go along and see. 

“I’ll go anywhere to see some good football and hopefully I’ll see some more at Cappielow.”