DFC | McMillan aiming for three wins as Dundalk FC face a busy period
Lilywhites face Derry City and St Patrick’s Athletic in the next week
The chances of Dundalk winning a fourth consecutive SSE Airtricity League title should become a lot clearer by the end of this week.
The Lilywhites kicked off a run of three games in seven days with a comprehensive victory over Limerick at the Markets Field last Friday night.
Stephen Kenny’s side host Derry City on Tuesday evening (May 23rd) before rounding off the busy schedule with a trip to St Patrick’s Athletic three nights later.
Currently sitting 13 points adrift of Cork City — who they face at Oriel Park on Friday week — winning is the only name of the game for Dundalk at this stage.
And striker David McMillan, who hit a first-half brace against the Blues, believes the champions are beginning to show signs that they are clicking into gear.
“We’ve always done well in these three-game periods and it’s good to get off the mark here with a win,” he told Dundalk Sport.
“It’s been quite disappointing that we haven’t been able to go on a run but we have a chance to do that now and hopefully we can build on it when we play Derry on Tuesday.
“It’s a big week for us with three games and it’s important to get a win in the first one. We’ve got three more games before the break — including Cork — and our focus is just on winning every one of them. That’s all we can do. Pick up as many points as we can.
“Derry will be a tough game, as will Pat’s, but tonight probably helped us in the sense that it wasn’t a humdinger. Limerick went down to 10-men early enough and hopefully, that keeps us fresh for Tuesday night.”
Dundalk made light work of Neil McDonald’s charges who were up against it right from the 18th minute after seeing their goalkeeper, Brendan Clarke, sent-off for handling outside his penalty area.
“I think it was a fairly blatant red card and an easy decision for the ref,” said McMillan. “It was good for us to play against 10-men as it made life a lot easier.”
Dundalk capitalised with McMillan bagging his first from the penalty spot after some fine approach play by Patrick McEleney before adding a second with a thumping header from Michael Duffy’s cross.
“Patrick did brilliantly to win the penalty,” said McMillan. “It was a brilliant bit of skill to drop the shoulder and one of their players took him down so it was a perfect start for us.
“We probably controlled it then and it was good to get a second one. That gave us a bit of breathing space.
“It was a good ball by Niclas Vemmelund to Mickey and, in fairness, he delivered a brilliant cross. I was two yards out so I just had to make sure I got a head to it and guide it in.”
The only downside for McMillan is that he didn’t make the journey home with a hat-trick to his name.
“I’m a little bit disappointed,” he nodded. “I had one clear chance from Michael’s free kick at the end that came off my shoulder. It was a good opportunity to get it, especially when you have two goals early in the game, but it wasn’t to be.”
The brace means that McMillan has now scored eight goals in just eight starts this season but the 28-year-old feels there is a lot more to come.
“It’s a good return,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of poor performances, even in some of the games I’ve scored I haven’t been brilliant, but I thought tonight we moved the ball well and created chances. I’m happy to keep scoring but I need to improve my all-round game.”