Jan 18 2013 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser
Liam Craig’s future lies with Hibs but fellow Saints midfielder Chris Millar is ready to extend his stay at McDiarmid Park.
Fans’ favourite Craig’s departure for the capital at the end of the season after signing a pre-contract agreement will be lamented by supporters who have taken him to their hearts since he arrived on loan from Falkirk under Derek McInnes.
But yesterday Millar told PA Sport he is ready to pen a new contract.
And he has no doubt that Craig will be fully committed to the Perth club’s top six push.
Yesterday, Millar (29) said: “We’ll probably sit down next week and talk. There are a few boys the club will be talking to about deals. I signed for a year with a one year option last summer and I definitely see myself staying.”
The midfielder ran down his contract last season as he contemplated a switch to Australia but opted instead for a return ticket to Perth.
And with a number of Saints players entering the final months of their current deals and pre-contract conjecture also stalking Murray Davidson, Millar assured fans they will retain their focus no matter what happens before the transfer window shuts.
“Going out of contract is different for individual players. I don’t think uncertainty is great for anyone. But in my situation last year I just kept my head down and kept working.
“And it’s not something you think about out on the park. It’s not in the back of your mind and you don’t think of pulling out of challenges or anything like that. You just get out there and play your normal game.
“I was going out of contract at Morton and had signed for St Johnstone. It didn’t affect me at all.
“At first maybe the fans were thinking I should just go but I felt I played well through to the end of the season there and I remember getting a nice send-off and applause from the supporters against Partick in the last game of the season when I had helped keep them up.
“I think I showed nothing had changed with my performances over the last few months of the season and I left Cappielow on good terms.”
Saints return to action after the brief SPL break with a trip to face Motherwell on Sunday (kick-off 2.15pm) at Fir Park.
Millar enjoyed a short break to Belfast with David McCracken and their wives, hooking up with keeper Jonny Tuffey.
He said: “It was nice to get a wee break and hopefully it will have done us all good and we can kick on.”
While defender Steven Anderson is recuperating from cartilage surgery, Jamie Adams is set for back surgery and jinxed striker Craig Beattie returned from a trial at Notts County only to succumb to a bug doing the rounds, Saints are in good shape for the weekend.
The sixth placed Perth side are just four points off Inverness Caley Thistle and Motherwell sharing second spot and Millar stressed: “Games between us are usually tight but we have won down there before. They are flying high in the league but it is tight again and a couple of wins makes a huge difference. That’s what we have to aim for.”
Manager Steve Lomas, who is again being linked with the vacant Doncaster Rovers position, admitted: “Motherwell have been a bit of a bogey team for us this season.
“It’s always tough against them. We probably should have won there at the start of the season and then they beat us here. We have a tough run of games coming up, it’s going to be a hectic period but the lads are refreshed after the break.
“Before the break I felt we looked a bit tired at times because we had been going with the same 14 or 15 boys most weeks.
“Now we’ve had a rest and are raring to go, so hopefully we can kick on again now in the second half of the season.”