BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
MICHAEL MILLER has thanked Livingston boss David Hopkin for letting him off the leash after rediscovering his knack for the spectacular.
The former Celtic youngster possessed an eye for goal when he progressed through the academy system at the Hoops, but he curtailed his attacking instincts during two seasons with Morton – scoring just once for the Ton.
However, after joining Livingston in the summer, Miller has been urged to shoot on sight as part of the Lions’ ultra-attacking philosophy that has seen them find the net 31 times in 12 league games this term.
That has paid dividends in recent weeks with the former Scotland under-20 star notching three goals in his last eight League 1 fixtures. Remarkably all have been sensational efforts from outside the box.
“The gaffer has given me more responsibility and I’m really enjoying it,” said Miller. “I’ve exactly been renowned for my goal-scoring over the years, so it’s good to chip in and help out the boys.
“To be fair, when I was younger I used to score a few but in the last few years I have settled into that holding midfield role at Morton. I was told to sit and keep things ticking over.
“Whereas at Livingston, people can see how attacking we are by the amount of goals we have scored as a team – and the gaffer has encouraged me to have a pop if I get near the edge of the box. Thankfully a couple have ended up in the top corner!
“Hopefully I can get a few more as the season goes on, although as long as we get promotion back to the Championship I’m not too bothered who scores the goals.”
Miller, still only 21 years old, has belied his age to cut a composed figure in the heart of the Livi side and has been a key figure in their rise to the summit of League 1.
After three league wins in a row, however, they did suffer a set-back in the Irn-Bru Cup last weekend, crashing out at the quarter-final stage with a 3-0 defeat against Welsh champions The New Saints.
And Miller is determined to respond when Peterhead visit the Tony Macaroni Arena today.
He added: “It’s not often that you get the opportunity to reach the semi-final of a cup, so we are bitterly disappointed. We are not going to downplay that.
“It was a great test against a side from a different country, and maybe a wee lesson that we need to be more clinical – something that we will try to learn from.
“But we are still flying high in the league, and we need to use our frustration to kick on against Peterhead. It’s vital that we don’t slip up.”