06 Mar Chris Millar hoping Oriam trip benefits St Johnstone at Kilmarnock
Chris Millar hopes St Johnstone get the benefit of Scotland’s premier sporting facility when they travel to Kilmarnock on Wednesday night.
The Perth club have spent a few days training on the indoor pitch at Oriam sport complex, Scotland’s national performance centre for sport, based at Heriot-Watt University’s Riccarton campus in Edinburgh.
The facility is used by the Scottish Rugby Union and the Scottish Football Association as well as other sports organisations and teams.
Millar has enjoyed the sporting vibe at Oriam and looks forward to the Ladbrokes Premiership clash at Rugby Park, which also has an artificial surface.
The 34-year-old midfielder told Press Association Sport: “We have been there for a couple of days on the artificial turf to get used to the surface.
“It is a fantastic facility. It has everything you need, a massive pitch indoors, good changing facilities, a good gym – it is ideal.
“It is obviously all geared towards top performance in sports and using facilities like that can only help.
“It is something that most areas could benefit from. Obviously there is nothing like that in Perth so it is really beneficial.”
Millar, like everyone else involved in Scottish football, is aware of the impact manager Steve Clarke has had at Kilmarnock since taking over at Rugby Park in October.
The sixth-placed Ayrshire side, seven points ahead of St Johnstone, have lost only once in their last 15 matches and are still in the William Hill Scottish Cup where they face a quarter-final replay at home to Aberdeen after a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie on Saturday.
“It is well-documented how well they are doing just now under Steve Clarke,” said Millar.
“He has got them well organised, hard to beat and scoring goals as well so we know it is going to be a very difficult game.
“We have a game in hand over them but these are games that we need to take maximum points from if we have aspirations of getting that top six spot again and obviously we need to make sure that we are pulling away from the bottom as well.”