McMillan pleased to make telling impact
Evan McMillan turned disappointment from not starting at centre-half on Saturday night against Athlone Town into a match-winning contribution and he told Sunday’s Rovers Review on Ocean FM that it was a positive sign for the Bit o’ Red to claim such a dramatic victory in The Showgrounds.
McMillan was introduced in the second-half in an attacking role against the newly-promoted side and finished well from John Russell’s delivery to secure a 2-1 victory for Ian Baraclough’s side.
Speaking on Rovers Review on Sunday, which will be live on 6pm every week, McMillan said he had to overcome the frustration of missing out on the first XI.
The former St Pat’s defender commented: “I was very disappointed not to start the game but I just had to be professional and hope for a chance in the game. Luckily from my point of view it was a positive impact I managed to make.
“I was joking with a couple of lads before the game that if I was going to get a chance maybe it would be up front because we were short on options with a few injuries that we have. I was glad to be given a chance and it was a big three points to start the season with.
“It would have been a disappointment to drop points so we were happy we got the two goals and the three points.”
Rovers started very brightly, hitting the post through Danny Ledwith and completed dominated the first-half without making the breakthrough.
McMillan said the manner in which Rovers battled to find enough to win the game after falling behind was a sign of the spirit in the team.
“We could have 3-0 up in the first 15 or 20 minutes. Early on last season we were scoring those chance and winning games comfortably. Later in the season we weren't taking them and drawing a lot of games 0-0 and dropping points we shouldn't have been.
“It is early in the season but that's one improvement we know we need to make and we did on Saturday by taking those chances late on.
“The manager said after the game last night that we just need to keep patient, not change our style and go long because it probably would have suited Athlone. It was all about staying patient and continuing to play we want to play. We know if we do that the chances willl come and it's just about taking them.”
There was also a sense of relief to see the ball hit the net for the FAI Cup winner as Rovers secured a much-craved win on the opening night.
McMillan praised his team-mate and man-of-the-match John Russell for his role in delivering the ball into a dangerous area.
McMillan said: “When I do score I'm always interested to see the replay because you can never fully remember when you're so happy afterwards. I remember John Russell did very well and beat the full-back on the right hand side.
“It's up for me to decide to go front or back post and because John had only half an inch on the full-back I assumed he wouldn't get a lot on the cross and he would hit it low.
“I think the keeper got a hand to it but it was so close he couldn't keep it out, it was just great to see it hit the net. The lads were delighted, they played the whole game and felt they deserved to be in front.
“You could sense it in the crowd, they were expecting we'd win the game and were disappointed when we weren't. We were just relieved to get the winner.”
Rovers Review will be live on Ocean FM each Sunday at 6pm with Darragh Cox, Sligo Rovers players and more guests. Listen at Oceanfm.ie