Gordon Strachan: Kenny Miller’s Livingston departure was absolutely right

Having managed Kenny Miller at close quarters Gordon Strachan reveals why he feels it was right for him to leave Livingston this week…


A lot of people have been surprised about the timing of Kenny’s departure from Livingston, but I reckon it’s absolutely right.

He’s better doing it now than later in the season when the club could, and probably will, be involved in a relegation battle. It’d be too much for Kenny, and both he and the club would suffer.

A club like Livingston needs more from their manager, in terms of all-round involvement. While, for a pro like Kenny, it’d be impossible for him to do what he does as a player alongside the management.

I was player-manager at Coventry City and, I’ve got to say, it was probably the most draining few months of my life. I was falling asleep at my desk.

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I’d always been big on my preparation, and Kenny is the same. As a player, especially at the age Kenny’s at just now, you have your regime and a lot of it is about rest.

But, being a manager as well, you’ve got so much to do, with things coming at you from all angles – you’ve got to speak to the youth coaches, do the media stuff, have meetings with the chairman.

I’ve worked with Kenny a lot, I know what he’s like and he’ll have been the same as me – wanting to do all the managing and all the playing.

He might have been able to do that somewhere like Rangers, or a bigger club, where you have a bigger team of staff around you.

It requires a certain amount of management.

But, with respect to Livingston, they’re not a huge club, and the manager is expected to help with a lot more than just the first team.

So, it sounds like Kenny ended up being caught between the two, doing just enough to be called a player, and just enough to be called a manager, cutting it short on both sides.

Management is non-stop. Even though it’s not physical, the mental side is really draining.

You get very little sleep as a manager, so that cuts into your lifestyle as a player – particularly if you’re coming to the end of your career, like Kenny, and you need to properly rest to get the best out of yourself.

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