Gary Holt succeeds Kenny Miller with same Livingston coaching team

Livingston director John Ward insists incoming manager Gary Holt will work under the same conditions as predecessor Kenny Miller did.

Gary Holt managed Falkirk during the 2013-14 season, taking them into the Premiership play-off semi-finals. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Gary Holt managed Falkirk during the 2013-14 season, taking them into the Premiership play-off semi-finals. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

Former Falkirk boss Holt is expected to be formally unveiled by the West Lothian club in the next 24 hours after agreeing terms following a meeting with the club’s board on Wednesday.

Miller, the former Rangers and Scotland striker, left the player-manager role on Monday after just seven games in charge, with the Premiership club saying in a statement that he was reluctant to agree to their request to focus solely on managing the team.

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Miller succeeded David Hopkin, having been told that he would have to work with the existing backroom staff, including assistant manager David Martindale, who is also involved in recruiting players.

However, amid unsubstantiated rumours that Miller’s working relationship with Martindale broke down, Ward insists Holt is well aware of what he is walking into.

He said: “We have been very clear, almost to the point of being boring, that there are five or six guys in the backroom staff who have been there under David Hopkin in helping the club achieve back-to-back promotions and we wanted to be loyal to them. That was made clear to Kenny and Gary.

“We are, however, looking to strengthen the coaching team as well. I think the most important thing following this week is that the focus returns to the team and getting points in the Premiership.

“Gary was someone who was identified during our initial search for a new manager but because we went down a different route with the player-manager it was something that got sidelined.

“We’ve now revisited that and Gary is someone with experience at Falkirk and south of the border also.”

Former Scotland and Kilmarnock midfielder Holt’s only previous experience of management came at Falkirk between April 2013 and June 2014, when he left to return to Norwich City as a first team coach. Holt had also served as the head of youth at Carrow Road prior to joining the Bairns. The 45-year-old has been out of work since leaving Norwich in June 2016.

Speaking at the time, he said: “Now the time is right for me to seek a fresh challenge as a head coach or manager and I want to thank everyone at the club and the fans for their support for me over the years.”

Holt is expected to take charge of Livingston for the first time in Saturday’s league clash at St Mirren, the other side newly promoted to the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Holt’s time in charge of Fakirk was eventful, His first match in charge was the 2013 Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden where his Bairns side led Hibs 3-0 before losing 4-3 after extra time. The following season saw Holt guide Falkirk to a third-place finish in the Championship and a place in the Premiership play-offs. They beat Queen of the South in the quarter-finals but lost to Hamilton Accies in the play-off semis.