Livingston boss Gary Holt ready to go global in talent search


GARY HOLT has vowed to scour the globe for top talent as he insisted Livingston cannot afford to stagnate following their impressive return to the Premiership.

The Lions secured safety with six games to spare in their first top-flight campaign since 2006 – and Holt is already planning for next season as he bids to unearth some more rough diamonds.

Holt counts Togo internationalist Steve Lawson, arguably Livi’s most consistent performer over the last two months, and journeyman Angolan Dolly Menga as two of their success stories in the transfer market this term.

And he believes there are plenty more where that duo came from, revealing that he plans to use the coming weeks to run the rule over potential signings.

Holt said: “The good thing about securing safety so early is that we are fishing in a bigger pool and are already having a look at people.

We have some boys coming in and we can get them training and have a proper look. We’re mainly talking about options abroad, and some from down south.

“Steve Lawson and Dolly Menga are two great examples that have worked out well for us. The two of them have come in with the right work ethic and that certainly helps you if you are recruiting further afield.

“We can say ‘look at how well Dolly and Steve have done’. They have fitted into the culture, the club and how British football is. That gives us confidence about casting the net further.”

And while loathe to rip up a successful formula in West Lothian, Holt reckons the time is right to improve the quality at Livi and ensure there is no ‘second season syndrome’ next term.

They will need to replace captain Craig Halkett and fellow defender Declan Gallagher, who have agreed to join Hearts and Motherwell respectively.

He continued: “I think we are now at a point where we need to improve the level of quality. The players know that, they’re not daft.

“So, they either need to step up to meet the demands to stay at this level, or people will take their place.

“The best teams in world have that process too, they still need to progress. We want as little disruption as possible – but if we can sign three guys who are better than three we have in the building, we ain’t going to turn them away.”

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