LEE MILLER insists he is ready to share the attacking burden with Livingston talisman Lyndon Dykes as opponents begin to target the ‘fearless’ Australian.
The 36-year-old has nothing but praise for Dykes’ progress this season, with his teammate bagging five goals, including a delightful chip against Celtic, following his reinvention from a winger at Queen of the South to an out-and-out striker for the Lions.
However, Dykes struggled to make his mark against Kilmarnock last weekend and it was left to Miller – in just his fifth appearance of the campaign – to climb from the bench and ripple the net.
Although it was not enough to stop Livi from succumbing to a 2-1 defeat, it illustrated that there is still plenty of life left in the veteran now that he is fully fit and determined to make up for lost time in the top-flight.
Miller said: “It’s been brilliant to be involved in the last two games, coming on against Celtic and then making a difference against Killie. It takes the pressure off Lyndon a little bit.
“He’s been fantastic this season – absolutely first class – and teams are pinpointing him a bit now and taking notice.
“I can take my share of that and help him out.”
Dykes’ all-action showings have seen his linked with international call-ups for the Aussies AND Scotland, given he is eligible to represent both countries.
And Miller reckons his unflappable mentality will ensure the sky is the limit for the raw forward.
Miller continues: “It doesn’t matter who he plays against, he treats it the same and I admire that.
“Nothing fazes Lyndon. I see kids and adults going up against a Celtic or Rangers jersey and they think, ‘Oh, wait a minute here’.
“That shouldn’t be the case but people get fazed about playing against a shirt – not a player.
“Lyndon isn’t like that and that will stand him in good stead for the future.”
Miller is reticent to take much credit for Dykes’ transformation into a potent number nine since arriving in West Lothian, despite the fact he is undoubtedly passing on his experience and expertise in training.
No other player Livingston has the pedigree as a centre-forward as the former Dundee United, Aberdeen and Middlesbrough star. Few in the SPFL do.
As a result, Miller now finds himself in the role Kevin McAllister and Owen Coyle once fulfilled for him at Falkirk.
He continued: ”I have tried to help him a bit but he’s his own man and he has so much potential going forward.
“When I was younger, I had the likes of Kevin McAllister and Owen Coyle to learn from.
“Kevin didn’t say much but I watched the way he trained and looked up to him. Owen was one of the fittest guys I’ve ever played with – even though he had Irn-Bru before and after training!
“He could run all day and his finishing was the best I have ever seen.”
As Miller prepares to cross swords with one of his TEN former clubs, Hearts, he has revealed that in different circumstances he would have loved to have stayed at Tynecastle long-term.
He joined the Jambos on loan from Bristol City for the second half of the 2004/05 campaign and, although the spell is often forgotten, he was a revelation and scored 11 goals in 23 appearances under John Robertson.
Miller cites it as one of the most enjoyable periods of his career and, but for the managerial uncertainty brought about by Vladimir Romanov’s ongoing takeover he may never have left Gorgie.
“When my loan came to an end, I never really got the opportunity to stay. A lot of fans don’t realise that and I was gutted at how it all ended.
“It was a strange time, with Romanov was taking over, John Robertson had been sacked and there was a deal I couldn’t commit to as there was no manager.
“Under different circumstances, I would have definitely stayed there.”