After another feisty performance on Friday night, Chris Millar is continuing to prove he’ll be around for a while yet, as he looks back on a stellar football career.
Playing for two clubs throughout his playing days, the midfielder is a committed professional. Achieving great success in his career, Millar has earned the title as a club hero, for both St Johnstone and Morton. In part 1, I spoke to Millar about his days at Morton.
The midfielder is enjoying his time back at Cappielow, having left the club for Perth in 2008: “The past three or four weeks our performances have been much better. It was a good result against Ross County, especially off the back of the victory over Partick. Hopefully we can stay in the play-off positions.”
The Ray McKinnon departure
A shock to everyone in Scottish football, Ray McKinnon made a dramatic U-turn this season, leaving his role as Morton manager, and becoming manager of Championship rivals Falkirk. Millar admits it came as a surprise to everyone at the club.
” Obviously McKinnon had brought everybody in, so nobody expected it . I was disappointed the way it happened, how it came out. We had trained as normal on the Friday, everything was fine. Next thing we knew he was gone.
” It could’ve been handled better, I’m sure he wasn’t happy with it. Obviously it came out over social media, but I’m disappointed because he never said anything to the players. As a team we wanted to move on, and I thought we handled it well under the circumstances. Nothing surprises me in football anymore.”
Cappielow became Millar’s adopted home
After being released by Celtic, it was Morton who snapped up Millar in 2003. Eager to take his chance at first team football, he jumped at the chance to move to Greenock, and it paid dividends for his career. He admits the place looks similar to what it did 16 years.
” It hasn’t been dramatic changes, part from a few managemtn changes. Andy Bryan the kitman is still there, and he’s been there for years and years! It’s the same faces around the matchday stuff.
“In terms of the club, we have changed training grounds and made upgrades to the stadium, as well as the hospitality suite. If I didn’t have games at St Johnstone I would come down and watch the team, so it still felt like home.”
Moving on from Morton
In December 2007, the midfielder penned a pre-contract with St Johnstone, ending his five year association with the Greenock side, proving all good things must come to an end. He reflected on his decision.
“We had missed out on promotion again, and there was the whole betting scandal, but nothing was in it. I thought to myself, I’ve been here four or five years, it’s time to move on.
“It was in my mind it was my final year, but I still gave my all. So when St Johnstone came calling I knew I had to move on.”
Derek McInnes brought Millar to Perth, and he was full of praise for his former boss, sighting him as a top manager.
” It was great to work under Derek. Training was always good, high tempo, him and Tony Docherty, they were brilliant. It was one of my best decisions signing with him.
” McInnes is a hard-worker. His wee team is good, and he had great people about him. Even if you aren’t playing he takes the time to speak to you, made sure everybody felt part of it, nobody fell out with him. He had a way of getting the best out of everyone.”
Millar is glad to be back in Greenock
Although he can look back on his days as a Saint with fondness, Millar knows how good it is to be home. He still lived in Greenock during his time in Perth, so he was never far away from Morton. He’s now loving life back in blue and white.
” It was time for me to leave St Johnstone, and I want to bring my career full circle, not that I’m ready to retire mind you.
“It’s great to be back in Greenock. I’m enjoying my football, and as along as that continues I’ll be happy.”