independent

Sunday 23 April 2017

In-form McMillan is reaching his goals

James Rogers

David McMillan and Ciaran Kilduff might be best of friends off the pitch but the latter must now dread the prospect of missing any action on it given how his fellow striker seems to take advantage.

Last summer Kilduff had the starter's jersey when illness ruled him out of a trip to the Brandywell to face Derry City. McMillan stepped in and bagged the first of two hat-tricks in-a-row before going on to score a number of memorable goals in Europe against FH Hafnarfjordur and BATE Borisov.

With McMillan sidelined with a knee problem, Kilduff again had the starter's role at the start of this season but a red card in the 2-1 defeat away to Cork City last month saw McMillan return to the first 11 for the home tie with Drogheda Utd six days later where he added to his goal at Turner's Cross with another strike. He then continued his good form in Ballybofey on Friday with another brace to take his goalscoring return to four in just 220 minutes of action in 2017.

While last season's top goalscorer with 21 goals in all competitions says he hasn't set himself a target for 2017, he admits he is hoping to keep up his rich vein of form in the weeks ahead.

'I'd love to try and get as many goals as I can,' he said.

'Every year you look to beat what you got the last year but you never know what will happen, when you're going to pick up injuries or whether you'll miss games or not so it's hard to set a target. For me, if I can keep scoring in games and keep winning games then it's excellent.

'Ciaran has been unlucky to miss out. He was making a last ditch tackle to try and get us an equaliser but for me I've just been working hard to try and get back in the team.

'Sometimes these things work for you and sometimes they don't. When I'm playing I want to keep helping the team and score as many as I can,' said McMillan.

The 28-year-old will be hoping to add to his ever-increasing tally in the week ahead when Dundalk play three home matches in the space of seven days against Bray Wanderers on Good Friday, UCD on Easter Monday in the EA Sports Cup and Bohemians on Friday week April 21st.

'It's a big week for us next week because we've the UCD game as well so three games in Oriel,' said McMillan.

'We've had a good record there so far this year on the new pitch so we'll look forward to that. It'll be a tough game against Bray. They're only three points behind us and going really, really well.

'They've a good attacking team there. Harry Kenny has done an excellent job since he came into Bray so it will be a very tough game for us and we can only really focus on that one now.

'They've conceded a lot but they've scored a lot. They've a lot of dangerous players. Gary McCabe gets a lot of goals as does Aaron Greene, Bisto (Anto Flood) and Dylan Connolly so they've a lot of attacking talent. We'll be wary of them and do our work on them but we'll be looking to keep our good home record and try to get another win,' he said.

McMillan was pleased with the victory over Finn Harps last weekend especially given the fact that the game was played on an incredibly poor surface at Finn Park.

'It was emphasised this week that it was going to be a very tough game and a tough pitch. You saw a little bit of a different side to the team tonight.

'We had to really battle away and it wasn't easy to get the ball down and play a bit but everyone battled hard and it was great to get a clean sheet. When we do that we always fancy ourselves to get a goal and tonight we got two and kept a clean sheet and it's an important three points.

We couldn't really use the pitch as an excuse. You still have to come up and win the game. At the end of the season no one is going to remember what pitches you played on so it's an important three points for us and keeps us going after a good win last week. We'll try and put a run together now if we can,' he said.

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