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Superstitious McMillan won’t be left eating humble pie
Thistle defender reveals his dinner demands ahead of promotion shot
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