After becoming the first British runner to beat Mo Farah for seven years Callum Hawkins had best be careful what he wishes for.

His was a thrilling performance as he took the day’s showpiece race, the men’s 8k, by storm, leaving Farah among those in his wake and while he was ultimately pipped at the line by Leonard Korir - part of a powerful American team that powered to victory in both that race and the overall three way match which also involved Europe - the 24-year-old from Elderslie made another statement about both his ability and his attitude.

It was a performance that drew the highest praise from Farah, the world’s outstanding endurance athlete, but the double, double Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion who said on the eve of the race that this would be his last cross country race and has announced that this will be his last season as a track competitor before he moves up to the marathon.

That is Hawkins’ specialist discipline, so while the Scot was equally respectful in noting that he was not getting over-excited about being the first Briton home because Farah had not been at his best and that he would rather take him on when he is, it would seem that he has only given Saturday’s team-mate new motivation.

“It definitely fires me up, it gives me a little wake-up call,” said the 33-year-old, who has dominated the global scene for the past six years.

“It shows me, no matter what, if you are Olympic champion, world champion, if you haven’t done the work, you will get beat. It’s as easy as that and the last couple of weeks haven’t gone as well as I wanted.”

“The aim is I go back home tomorrow and I will have a chat with the team and decide what to do.

The aim is to go to Ethiopia for sure to get another block of training in, 4-6 weeks, but I have to decide when I want to go, I might want to go before Birmingham (the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in February) or after Birmingham, I’ve not decided.”

The newly knighted elder statesman is not planning to gently drift off into retirement then and even sees Hawkins, as well as the likes of Hawkins, of whom he said emphatically – “I believe in him,” – Laura Muir, whom he tipped as a future Olympic champion on the eve of the event and Andy Butchart, who accompanied him in representing GB in the Olympic 5000 metres final, a stage Farah did not reach at his first Olympics, as potentially helping extend his competitive career by easing his burden.

“There is a great future and at the same time it takes a little bit of pressure off me.

We can rely on the others for medals to, it’s not just go for Mo,” he noted.

“There’s no change in myself. I know what I want, I know what I have to do. I just have a little bit more work to do than usual. So if I was 80 per cent last year (when he finished second in this race), I’m 65-70 percent this year.

“It’s the same as always, it’s just the pressure I put on myself. At the same time I want to be able to finish my career on a high, I don’t want to finish second or third on the track.

“It’s not harder, but at the same time it hasn’t gone as smoothly as I wanted. I’m still hungry and I still trained for it, but it hasn’t gone as well as I wanted. You have to get away from yourself, I’ve got four kids. You have to ask yourself what works the best for you.

“The thing that works for me is being in training camp, isolating myself, get back to basics. At the same time, what time of year is it? It’s January, it’s early on so you have still got quite a lot of time.”

While Butchart has the task of challenging Farah this year on the track, then, in the longer term it looks like it is Hawkins who will be competing with and Hawkins reckons the next generation is ready to handle its share of British expectation.

“Especially with Andy Butchart in the 5000m. He’s right up there. Me in the marathon. Mo’s moving up now as well. That will be a good battle. I’ll enjoy that,” he said.

The Scot made it clear, too, that he will not be treating it as a privilege to accompany his more acclaimed team-mate, or bowing and scraping, promising that he will defend his honour.

“Not without a fight. Even if he is Sir Mo Farah,” he observed, when asked whether he expects to have to give up his hard won British number one status in the marathon.

“I’d rather beat him at his best, though. He wasn’t 100%. He’s quicker than me (over marathon). It would be good to see what he can do flat-out.

“I don’t want to beat people for the sake of it. I want to beat people because there’s the best competitors. I’m sure he’ll be back up there in London.”

Hawkins has gained admirers as much for the way he attacks races as his results over the past year and this time around he hinted at acknowledging that he had relaxed slightly towards the finish when it looked like he had the race won, when observing that the crowd noise was such that he did not initially hear Korir gaining on him.

He insisted he had given his all, however and clearly has no intention of changing approach now that others are more aware of him.

“When you have races at this top level, there’s no point in holding back,” he observed.

“Finishing high up can help but you go for a win. This was on home ground. I went for a win last year and finished fourth. I just got pipped at the end.”