CALLUM McFadzean is pleased to be challenging for honours at Burton Albion, despite admitting his disappointment at missing out on a trip to Wembley with his hometown club.
The 20-year-old, who joined the Brewers on an initial one-month loan, scored his first goal for the club with the winner in Saturday’s 1-0 victory against Plymouth Argyle.
If the midfelder’s loan is extended, he could yet appear at Wembley in the League Two play-off final, but parent club Sheffield United have already booked their appearance at the national stadium in this Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Hull City.
McFadzean would not have been able to play even if he were not currently contracted to Burton, as he appeared in the competition for Chesterfield earlier in the season, and said he was frustrated with what that ultimately meaningless game (a 3-1 home defeat to Southend) might have cost him.
“I’m cup-tied anyway because of when I played for Chesterfield,” he said.
“I’m a bit gutted, but I just hope the lads can go down there and do the business.
“I’m going to go down, and when I can I go and watch their games.”
The promising wide-man has had back-to-back impressive games for the Brewers, away at York last weekend and in Saturday’s win, and says he is pleased to be playing regularly in a team battling for promotion.
“It was the same last season, I came in at Sheffield United at a big part of their season,” he said of the end of the 2012-13 campaign, in which he played and scored in the Blades’ League One play-off semi-final.
“And at the end of the day, these are the games you want to be playing in as a footballer, you don’t want to be playing mid-table football.
“You want to be playing football where you can get something at the end of it, and it’s a great time to be here.”
His goal, and the three points that they earned against the Pilgrims, closed the gap for Burton on the League Two automatic promotion spots to three points after Chesterfield were held at home to Newport County.
“It’s about the team, not just me, but if I can chip in with goals, I’ll chip in,” said McFadzean.
“It was a very enjoyable day for me, we got the result and I got on the scoresheet as well.
“I like to put a shift in every game, and the more games I get, the sharper I’ll get.
“I like to think I put a case forward every game, and I like to go into every game looking to show the gaffer what I can do.”
McFadzean, after playing his first two games for Gary Rowett on the left of midfield, switched to the right at the weekend to accommodate the return of Jimmy Phillips.
He is a left-footer, but scored with his weaker right, and said he prefers playing on that side of the pitch.
“For Sheff United I played there, and I prefer to play there, because when I’m looking inside the field, I can see all the play,” he said.
Of the goal, he admitted: “I can’t have been thinking a lot because I hit it with my right foot.
“But it’s gone in, and I’ll take it.
“Every game I play, I want to score, and today I’ve scored.
“A goal’s a goal, and it was a great time to score it.”
Burton dominated their visitors in the first half, but had only McFadzean’s strike to show for their superiority, and that profligacy meant they were on the back foot for much of the second half.
“It’s been like that in quite a few games, but you just have to deal with it and not let it affect you,” said McFadzean.
“Looking back at York, we probably should have won it, but we’ll take a point.
“Every game we play we look to win, so we’ll just take each game at a time and see what happens.
“If we lose, we just kick on to the next one.”