MORTON veteran Chris Millar admits getting to grips with his new coaching role at Cappielow has helped him cope with his injury frustrations this season.

The 37-year-old had his contract extended for a ninth season at the club during the summer and started his player-coach role under manager David Hopkin.

Millar has been out of action with a calf injury and the midfield stalwart says working in Hopkin's backroom team has made him feel part of the team while he gets back to full fitness.

He told the Tele: “It’s been difficult making the transition from being in the middle of the park to the side of the park coaching because there’s a fine line to it.

“It’s been good though, I’ve really enjoyed it. Obviously with all the injuries it’s helped me still feel as if I’m a part of the group.

“There’s nothing worse than sitting on the sidelines yourself and then rehabbing on your own away from everyone."

Millar admits it's been a challenge swapping playing on the pitch for coaching on the touchline - but the ex-St Johnstone man says he is relishing his new role.

He said: “It’s difficult when you’re talking to boys about what the manager is thinking and trying to be that middle man at times and how I can help both sides of the equation. I still see myself as a player, so it’s been weird trying to adjust.

“Sometimes you need to find that middle ground, because it could be that the manager is speaking to me about a game that’s just been played or an opinion on a player and you still see yourself as a team-mate, so you don’t want to throw your mate under the bus or anything like that.

“It is all about finding that balance - you’re still a player but also a part of the coaching staff.

“It’s been made that wee bit easier by the fact that the players have been really good with me.

"I’ve had to take them in the gym or the warm-ups, even at half-time with the subs.

“They’ve shown me respect which I really appreciate, it can be difficult if they didn’t listen or maybe sack it off a wee bit but their attitude has been brilliant from day one.”

Millar admits that he hopes to be available for selection sooner rather than later after a persistent calf problem has kept him out of the opening seven games of the campaign.

He wants to make sure that he feels right to prevent causing any further harm down the line as he looks to step into the engine room when required.

He added: “It’s probably made it easier for the fact that I’ve been injured and focusing on what I can do to help the manager, Anton [McElhone] and Timmo [Dave Timmins] so it’s been easier in that way.

“It has been frustrating for me in that sense because one week I could be training fine and then the next I’m picking up a wee niggle here and there.

“I know that it’s something that I need to work on at the training ground and I need to show that my body is right.”