GARY HOLT insists former Rangers star Jason Holt will lead by example after joining Livingston.
Holt, 27, has penned a two-year contract with Livi after impressing during a recent trial period, with his new boss adamant the classy playmaker has been raising the bar in training.
Holt arrives following five years on the books at Ibrox and, despite latterly being farmed out on loan to Fleetwood Town and St Johnstone, made 116 appearances for the Glasgow giants.
And Holt smiled: “On day one when he came in, some of the younger boys were like ‘Jeez, that’s Jason Holt in training!’
“He’s someone who’s got a pedigree and I’m surprised in one way that he hadn’t got a club already.
“He hates losing – even in training – which is great. You’re not just going to go ‘it’s only training’. A misplaced pass, not tracking a runner – then you’re getting told.
“It’s nice to have people on the pitch that’ll say ‘here, you’re not doing your job right and if you take that into a Saturday, you’ll end up sitting in the stand’.”
It is understood Livingston are ready to pitch their latest signing straight into the squad for Wednesday’s visit to Motherwell following a pointless start to their Premiership campaign.
And Holt has no doubt his namesake will immediately join the likes of captain Marvin Bartley and ex-Celtic man Efe Ambrose among the leaders in the Livi dressing room.
The Livi gaffer continued: “On and off the pitch, Jason is exceptional – and that’ll rub off.
“We’ve got some experienced boys that the rest look up to, like our captain Marv and Efe. They hold that respect after what they’ve done, where they’ve been, how they conduct themselves and how they train.
“Wee Hotly’s got that in abundance.”
Holt’s character and quality may prove invaluable as Livingston attempt to secure their first points of the season against fellow early strugglers Motherwell.
And the boss has confessed that he is still coming to terms with ensuring his players are sufficiently fired up in an empty stadium.
He added: “It’s a different atmosphere and maybe that’s where I need to be more upbeat and enthusiastic – maybe I need to be that adrenaline shot they get from the crowd.
“Or maybe I need to get wee Cheb (Stephen Sproule, kitman) to say a few choice words when they’re in the tunnel so they’re fired up!
“You can come out and hear a pin drop – but it’s a game that means so much and that’s what we need to get over to the players.”
CRAIG SIBBALD: FOCUS IS CLEAR
MIDFIELDER Craig Sibbald has revealed that Livingston 4-1 capitulation against Hibs sparked a candid post-mortem at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
It was a second successive defeat for the West Lothian side, having succumbed to an uncharacteristically meek 1-0 reverse at St Mirren on the opening day of the campaign.
And Livi have wasted no time in addressing their failings, with the entire squad coming together on Sunday for full and frank discussions – with players and coaches alike having their say.
“We need that first win on the table and we had some pretty honest discussions on Sunday,” said Sibbald. “We touched on the problems we have encountered and how we can move forward.
“It’s not just the coaching staff – everyone had their say, and it’s positive to get everything off your chest and out in the open. That’s the only way to fix things.
“That’s given us a clear focus on what needs to happen, what our jobs are and hopefully that helps us get the win on Wednesday.
“It’s ideal having a game so quickly. The opportunity is there to right a few wrongs.”