Chris Kane admits St Johnstone didn’t have to dig too deep for the inside track on Livingston.
Because recent recruit Efe Ambrose knows the Lions set-up inside out.
The 32-year-old Nigerian international clocked-up nearly 30 appearances for Livi last term.
So the one-time Celtic and Hibs defender was the obvious go-to man as Saints look to pull eight points clear of Davie Martindale’s side.
Kane admits manager Callum Davidson’s decision to secure free agent Ambrose after losing skipper Jason Kerr to Wigan on deadline day has paid dividends, especially with double cup winners Liam Gordon and Jamie McCart missing recent games through injury and suspension.
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“Efe has been great since he came in,” said Kane.
“He has fitted in well. He likes a laugh in the dressing room with the lads.
“He has played really well for us. He has been really solid at the back.
“Obviously Efe played for Livingston so he will know them well and how they play.
“He will tell us all about their strikers.
“Efe is a top pro. He has played at the highest levels in his career.
“He is a leader. He talks to the boys beside him.
“Jamie (McCart) is quite young as well but he is also a leader, like Liam Gordon when he comes back.”
Kane, 27, bagged a brace in the 3-1 Tayside derby win over Dundee before the international break.
Saints manager Callum Davidson believes the striker’s game has stepped-up a gear over the past 12 months.
But Kane insists he’s taking nothing for granted, with Stevie May, Glenn Middleton and Finnish recruit Eetu Vertainen all pushing for places.
“I never think I’ll be the first name on the team sheet because we have plenty of players who can take your place off you,” he warned.
“Stevie has come in and done well, Glenn can play in the middle, Eetu is working hard to get a game and Mikey O’Halloran can play up there too.
“So I don’t take anything for granted. I am always aware that the other strikers are chapping at the door.
“Stevie scored himself last week and set up another one, so I would never think I am automatically going to play.
“You can’t ever slack off because of that, you always have to be on your toes and make sure you keep playing well.
“As long as I’m fit and can stay in the team then I think I’ll get goals.”
Michael O’Halloran’s good form could be a huge help to Kane in his mission – and that’s a fact not lost on the striker.
“Mikey has been brilliant,” he said.
“We were talking about it the other day and he was saying how he’s played everywhere for us.
“I think the only places he hasn’t been have been centre half and centre midfield.
“When he’s in that wing-back role he’s got the pace to get forward and defensively he’s been really good too.
“So he’s been important to us.”