'Direct' Kenny Miller boosts Livingston, says Craig Halkett

Craig Halkett
Livingston skipper Craig Halkett says "it will suit us if people write us off"

Kenny Miller is adapting well to life as Livingston player-manager in the run-up to the Premiership season, says captain Craig Halkett.

Miller, 38, is in his first managerial role, having left Rangers at the end of last season.

He replaced David Hopkin, who had led Livi to promotion via the play-offs.

"Having him on the park is great for the club so I think that's going well and I'm looking forward to the season starting," Halkett, 23, said of Miller.

"He's settled in pretty well. He's more direct. He obviously wants to play a lot more football but he doesn't want to get away from what we did last year because that got us to where we are today.

"The signings he has brought in have knitted in well with what we've got going at the club so I think that's massive this year."

Egli Kaja has joined on loan from AFC Wimbledon while fellow forward Ryan Hardie has returned for a second loan spell from Rangers.

Goalkeepers Liam Kelly and Ross Stewart, defenders Callum Crane, Ricki Lamie and Steven Saunders and midfielders Cameron Blues and Craig Sibbald are Livi's other summer captures after nine players moved on.

Scott Robinson and Kenny Miller
Striker Miller (right) scored Livi's winner over Annan Athletic in the League Cup

Miller's Livingston were undefeated in their League Cup group campaign, which was completed with Saturday's 2-0 win over Berwick Rangers, and they will host Motherwell in the last 16.

The West Lothian side open their Premiership campaign away to champions Celtic on Saturday.

"We're looking forward to it," said Halkett. "I think we've all just calmed down from the excitement of last season but obviously it's Celtic on Saturday so we need to get our heads down as quickly as possible.

"Obviously, it's a tough league. There are a lot of fights for places in the league and it's going to be very tight down the bottom end, probably where Livingston are going to be so I think we all know the challenges ahead."

And, when asked about people underestimating Livingston, Halkett replied: "It doesn't really bother us.

"Last season a lot of people wrote us off so it kind of suited us to slide under the radar and I don't think anybody looked at us as serious contenders until April/May time where we were in the play-offs, so I think this year again it will suit us if people write us off and don't really expect much."

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