To say the right-back is a bit superstitious would be an understatement. While the Jags have fought their way through the crucial Premiership play-offs, beating their opponents aside and scoring plenty of goals in the process, McMillan refuses to deviate from his usual pre-game routine. And for a good reason.
The ex-Livingston player has scored three goals in Thistle’s four play-off games so far – leading manager Kris Doolan to dub the 25-year-old as Europe’s in-form right-back after his side’s 5-0 win over Europa Ayr United at Somerset Park on Friday night – and the Jags’ Player of the Year will be no different as Ross County awaits in the first leg of the play-off final at Firhill tomorrow night.
McMillan seems to agree that if it ain’t broke you don’t have to fix it, and given his recent accomplishments, it’s difficult to argue against that particular philosophy, no matter how idiosyncratic.
“I do the same routine,” declared McMillan after fans voted him the club’s McCrea Financial Services player in May. “The night before the game I eat a steak pie.
CONTINUE READING: Keith Watson insists Ross County are not afraid of Partick Thistle in play-off finals
“We’ll be staying there Saturday night before the county game and I’ll take a steak pie with me. It must be from my local butcher, Boghall Butchers in Bathgate.
“Honestly, I’m shocking. I’m terrible because I’m superstitious. I could spend a whole day on this. It starts the day before the game and continues until kick-off. There’s the steak pie, then the yoghurt. Waking up, the same breakfast, there’s the bagel, the cup of tea.
“I put [my socks] First on the left, then on the right. I drink some water and then wash my face before going out. With the dog there is the same walk.
“It even goes on during the game. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but my socks are falling out in the second half of the games. It’s crazy! My socks have holes. But I keep getting points at it.
“My dog won’t come to Dingwall. He’s still a puppy. I would be happy if he shows up. He is my little baby. But unfortunately not!
“My wife hates it. But I’m going to eat a steak pie on Wednesday night and a steak pie on Saturday night. I’ll bring it and there will be a fridge on the bus to put it in.”
McMillan will also be well-prepared for whatever County has to bring to his side. The full-back knows what to expect when Malky Mackay’s relegation-threatened Staggies come to town.
“The guys will tell you I look at the highlights of every single league,” he said. “I’ve seen county charges. I watch League Two, League One, Championship and Premiership so I watched a lot of football.
“I really like that side of the game. There was an analysis guy at my previous club who did a lot of analysis for Livingston and I was always interested in that.
“It’s going to be a tough game. I thought they didn’t play very well there against Kilmarnock at the weekend but they are a Premiership side and they have Premiership quality. [Yan] Dhanda in 10th place is very good at set pieces and his performance is brilliant. So we expect a good game.”
VAR will be in action in both games of the play-off final but it won’t be an entirely new situation for Doolan’s side. The Jags played under the all-seeing eye of technology in February’s 3-2 Scottish Cup defeat by Rangers and McMillan is optimistic about the prospect of playing with on-site video referees – although he admits that one or two his more reckless teammates may need to put on their best behavior.
“We had it before against Rangers at Ibrox and got a penalty,” recalled McMillan. “Hopefully we’ll get another one, right?
CONTINUE READING: Ayr 0 Partick Thistle 5: Jubilant Jags warn Premiership fighters
“We discussed it there. The manager went through it and watched what we do. We only had one game with it.
“[It won’t unsettle me]. I personally don’t. It’s more for Brian [Graham] and Aero [Aaron Muirhead]. You should check it out, but honestly it doesn’t cross my mind.”
McCrea Financial Services is a proud sponsor of Partick Thistle’s Player of the Month award – www.mccreafs.co.uk.