Departure of ex-Rangers & Celtic striker Kenny Miller left Livingston players stunned, admits captain

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LIVINGSTON SKIPPER Craig Halkett insists he ‘cannot speak highly enough’ of  Kenny Miller after the rookie player-boss left the club just seven weeks into the job.

Miller succeeded David Hopkin at the end of June but has departed his first managerial job in surprising circumstances.

After steering his side through the Betfred Cup group stage undefeated, the former Rangers and Scotland striker had taken charge of an opening-day loss to Celtic and draw with Kilmarnock in the league before being knocked out of the cup with Saturday’s narrow defeat to Motherwell.

(Pic Eric McCowat)

After discussions over the weekend, the club issued a statement claiming they felt the ‘player-manager role wasn’t working’ and, with the 38-year-old not willing to give up his on-field career, that the two parties had ‘amicably agreed to part company’.

Halkett has expressed the squad’s shock over the move and believes the team was on the right tracks under Miller, who he has predicted will prove a success in the dugout in the future.

He told Capital City Press: “It came as a bit of a surprise. I don’t think any of the boys were expecting it.

“As far as I was concerned, Kenny had come in and he was good, he had fresh ideas and everyone was enjoying it.

“Obviously the club just made the decision from their point of view and they never saw it the same as the players.

OPINIONS

“That’s football. It’s quite a cut-throat industry and it’s all about opinions. The club had theirs and the players have theirs as well.

“All I can say is that I can’t speak highly enough of him. His ideas were good and I’m sure he’ll go on to be a top, top manager.

“There’s not much we can do about it now. Being in the Premiership this season, we know how hard it’s going to be, so we quickly need to get over it and look forward to the game on Saturday because it’s a huge game for us.”

Assistant manager David Martindale is expected to take charge of the team for Saturday’s trip to face St Mirren.

Meanwhile, speaking earlier in the day, striker Lee Miller told SkySports: “I’m a bit in shock, I think all the boys are in shock.

“I have [spoken to Miller] but that’s between me and Kenny. Let’s just leave it at that.”

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