Ayr can take inspiration from Livingston, says Lawrence Shankland

Lawrence Shankland scores for Ayr United against Airdrieonians
Lawrence Shankland's goals helped Ayr win promotion last season

Ayr United can take inspiration from Livingston and aim for the Premiership, says striker Lawrence Shankland.

The former Aberdeen striker hit 29 goals last season as the Honest Men became League One champions.

Livingston followed up their League One success with promotion to the Premiership last season.

"Hopefully, yes," said 22-year-old Shankland about the possibility of sealing back-to-back promotions.

"Obviously they got themselves in the play-offs and you always have a chance of getting promoted if you get yourself in there. We have got to look and do the same.

"If we're being realistic, that's probably quite ambitious for us and I think it is realistic as well that we can go and get ourselves in the play-offs."

Ayr will take on Partick Thistle, who were relegated by Livi's Premiership Play-off final win, in the opening round of Championship fixtures on 4 August.

"Obviously we have kept a lot of the boys together," Shankland said of Ian McCall's squad at Somerset Park.

"It's a team that won the league last year, we know how we play together and we know we have an ambitious group. We showed that by going and winning the league.

"We're not going up just to take part and come back down like we have done a couple of times before.

"We're going up to make a stand and prove we can play at that level."

Shankland was linked with Hearts before committing his immediate future to Ayr but says any talk of a move to Tynecastle never looked likely.

"I don't think there was anything in it at all," he added. "There was nothing concrete.

"I don't know if there was anything for sure other than Ayr, who offered me a deal until the end of the season.

"I was happy with that and delighted to stay."

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