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Superstiti­ous McMillan won’t be left eating humble pie

Thistle defender reveals his dinner demands ahead of promotion shot

- JAMES CAIRNEY McCrea Financial Services proudly sponsor Partick Thistle’s Player of the Month awards

SOME of us are a slave to our routines. Partick Thistle defender Jack McMillan, though, makes everyone else’s schedule look positively liberating. To say the right-back is a tad superstiti­ous would be an understate­ment. As the Jags have roared their way through the cinch Premiershi­p play-offs, swatting aside their opponents and scoring a barrelload of goals along the way, McMillan is refusing to budge from his usual pre-match routine. And with good reason, too.

The former Livingston player has racked up three goals in Thistle’s four play-off matches thus far – prompting manager Kris Doolan to label the 25-year-old as Europe’s in-form rightback in the wake of his team’s 5-0 demolition of Ayr United at Somerset Park on Friday night – and the club’s player of the year won’t be doing anything differentl­y as Ross County await in the first leg of the play-off final at Firhill tomorrow night.

McMillan appears to subscribe to the notion that if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it and, given his performanc­es of late, it’s difficult to argue against that particular philosophy, no matter how idiosyncra­tic it may be.

“I do the same routine,” explained McMillan, after fans voted him the club’s McCrea Financial Services Player of the Month for May. “I have a steak pie the night before the game.

“We will go up to stay on the Saturday night before playing County and I’ll be taking a steak pie up with me. It has to be from my local butcher, Boghall Butchers in Bathgate.

“Honestly, I’m shocking. I’m terrible for being superstiti­ous. I could spend a whole day on it. It starts the day before the game all the way up to kick-off. There’s the steak pie, the yoghurt afterwards. Wake up, the same breakfast, there’s the bagel, the cup of tea.

“I put [my socks] on the left hand side first then the right hand side. I have a drink of water then wash my face before going out. There’s the same walk routine with the dog.

“It even continues during the game. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but my socks go down in the second half of games. It’s crazy! My socks have got holes in them. But I keep scoring in them.

“My dog isn’t coming up to Dingwall. He’s still a puppy. I would love for him to come up. He’s my wee baby. But unfortunat­ely not!

“My missus hates it. But I’ll be having a steak pie on Wednesday night and a steak pie on Saturday

night. I’ll bring it with me and there will be a fridge on the bus to put it in.”

McMillan will be well prepared for everything that County have to throw at his side, too. A keen student of the game who regularly watches matches and highlights packages at every level of Scottish football, the full-back says he knows what to expect when Malky Mackay’s relegation-threatened Staggies come to town.

“The boys will tell you I watch

highlights of every single league,” he said. “I’ve seen County loads. I watch League Two, League One, Championsh­ip and Premiershi­p so I’ve seen a lot of football.

“It will be a tough game. I thought they didn’t play too well against Kilmarnock at the weekend there but they are a Premiershi­p side and they have Premiershi­p quality. [Yan] Dhanda at No.10 is very good at set-pieces, his delivery is brilliant. So we expect a good game.”

VAR will be in operation for both legs of the play-off final but it won’t be an entirely novel situation for Doolan’s side.

“We had it before against Rangers at Ibrox [in February] and we got a penalty,” McMillan recalled. “Hopefully we get another one, eh? [It won’t unsettle me]. Not me, personally. It’s more for Brian [Graham] and Aero [Aaron Muirhead]. They should watch it but it doesn’t cross my mind.”

I’m shocking. I’m terrible for being superstiti­ous. I could spend a whole day on it. It starts the day before the game all the way up to kick-off

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 ?? ?? Jack McMillan says he has watched a lot of County games this term
Jack McMillan says he has watched a lot of County games this term

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