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MACDONALD: PLENTY OF POSITIVES

3 November 2014

Goalscorer feeling good after Plymouth game

Alex MacDonald returned to the Burton Albion side and on Halloween weekend haunted his former club with the opening goal that gave the Brewers a more than creditable draw against form side Plymouth Argyle at the Pirelli Stadium.

The forward's 32nd minute strike followed a flowing move through midfield and finished off the inside of the post after a neat one two with Stuart Beavon. MacDonald felt that Albion could count themselves unfortunate not to take all three points but pointed at the strength of the opposition in celebrating a very creditable result.

"We had a lot of chances early in the second half" said Alex, "and we perhaps feel that had we put one or two of those away we could have been out of sight but we came up against a good team in Plymouth today. There are on a good run, with good players. You only have to look at who they had coming off the bench today making an impact. They have good players, a good manager and they are a big club so it was a stern test for us but one I thought we stood up to and maybe we were a bit unlucky not to come away with the full three points."

Having picked up a fifth yellow card of the season at Carlisle United, Alex had to sit out the 1-0 defeat at Stevenage last weekend but came back into the side with a bang and felt that it showed a measure of Albion's progress that a point from a game such as this was slightly disappointing.

"It was frustrating having to miss out last week having picked up five yellow cards but it was good to get back into training this week and really be able to look forward to the weekend and I thought it was a good game. The tempo in the first half was as good as you are going to see in this league anywhere."

"I think it shows how far we have come as a team that we come up against these bigger teams and we are disappointed with only a point and not to have taken all three. This is another point on the board and we will make sure we rest up now and get ourselves fully prepared for next Saturday."

The departure of Gary Rowett had the potential to disrupt Albion's momentum in chasing promotion to League One but MacDonald felt that the squad's togetherness and spirit had shone through.

"Gary is a good young manager who has done very well over the last couple of seasons so he has earned his move to a big club like Birmingham."

"If you look at the bench today then we had Moose on there and when Belly came off he was straight in there and it shows how together we are as a group. It has been like that all week.

"Training has been really sharp. Sometimes when a manager leaves there is a hangover effect with lads not sure what is going on, who is coming in but we have stuck to our jobs, trained hard all week and there has been quite a good feeling around the place all week considering that the manager has left.

"Everyone has put their thoughts and ideas forward and we have taken that into the game and played really well."

With potential successors to Rowett's mantle watching on from the stands MacDonald chose an excellent game to enhance his goalscoring record for the season, something he has worked hard to improve on having only notched once prior to this season since joining the club in January 2013.

"I don't know who was watching from the stands but I'll take any goal in any match to be honest. It doesn't matter if it is away or at home I enjoy scoring and so far it has been a good season for me in front of goal and having missed the game last weekend made it all the nicer to come back and grab a goal as well. We played a different way today, a bit further up the pitch which suited me better so it was good."

"I looked at my goalscoring in the summer as something to improve on. Last year was frustrating for me, not only in terms of playing time, getting out there on the pitch but goals as well and it is something I have tried really hard to work on in terms of getting into goalscoring positions and it seems to be paying off now I have got four for the season."

"Whits and Sharpsy and Belly said to us that even with a free role in attack we still needed to keep our shape but it didn't matter who was in which position. We worked a lot on that, our team shape, over the week and it was an enjoyable, high tempo game. We are disappointed not to win the game but it was massively important that we didn't lose.

"That was a good result and a good performance for anyone coming in. It is good to know that even without the manager the lads have all come together and still worked just as hard so there are plenty of positives to take from today."
 

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