Former Celtic youth Michael Miller making up for lost time at Raith Rovers

Michael Miller, Raith Rovers
Michael Miller, Raith Rovers

Michael Miller revealed he is just happy to be on the pitch after scoring a double in the 4-0 win over Peterhead on Saturday.

The Raith Rovers full back took his tally for the season to four in what has been a positive start to his time at Stark’s Park since his summer arrival.

The 24-year-old former Celtic youth is making up for lost time having been out of the game for two years with knee complications prior to a brief spell at Brechin City at the tail end of last season.

“My target was just to get through pre-season injury-free and try to get properly fit,” he said.

“It’s been a slow couple of years with injuries so I’m just enjoying being on the pitch.

“It beats being in the gym by yourself.”

Prior to joining Brechin in March, Miller’s last senior appearance came in May 2017 with Livingston.

“It’s been challenging at times, but I think you’re very lucky in football if you go through your career without a serious injury,” he said.

“I’m just unfortunate it’s happened a few times, and I’ve had setbacks, but it’s worth it when you get back out there playing, getting wins and clean sheets.

“I’m still trying to keep on top of everything with my knee, doing all my injury prevention stuff.

“We’re training to a high intensity, which is good, and I’m just gradually building up.

“I’m feeling fitter as the weeks go on, which has been a real personal plus for me.

“In the early stages of returning from injury you just need to manage it.

“You want to be doing extra, but you need to be realistic and manage your body, which I have been doing. I’ve been gradually increasing it and it’s been fine so far.

“It’s a confidence-thing and I do feel more confident as times gone in and I don’t think about it so much.

“It just takes time.”

Miller can play in a variety of positions across defence and midfield but has featured mostly at right back under John McGlynn - a position he featured in when the pair crossed paths in the Scotland U19 set-up.

He was moved further up the park into a wing-back role on Saturday as Rovers switched to a back three, giving him even greater licence to get forward.

“The manager encourages it,” he said.

“We work on shape during the week, doing phases of play, and he was saying to me and Macca to try and get into the back stick, and I’m just happy it came off.

“I’m happy to score the goals to help the team, but because I’ve been playing right back most games my aim when I go out is to keep a clean sheet first and foremost, so I’m probably more happy with that than the goals themselves.”

Miller is no stranger to League One – indeed he has won the title twice with Morton and Livingston – and he is hoping to make it three with Rovers.

“It’s one of those leagues where anyone can beat anyone,” he said.

“It’s easy to have a very good day or bad days, that’s how physical the league is and there’s a lot of second balls.

“The test will be now trying to stay consistent, and keep on building on what we’re doing with the clean sheets and scoring goals.

“Away form will come into a lot and that’s what we’ve got to try to get right.”