ALEX MacDonald is hoping to put a injury-hit debut for Burton Albion behind him and show what he can do while at loan with the Brewers.
The 22-year-old winger started very brightly against AFC Wimbledon last week, setting up fellow debutant Michael Symes for a great chance after just 25 seconds.
Unfortunately, the Warrington-born wide-man limped off with a nasty dead leg which has made him doubtful for tomorrow’s home clash with Rotherham United.
“I was looking forward to getting down and coming to play,” said the Scotland under-21 international. “The gaffer threw me straight in and I was made up and then to come off with an injury after 20 minutes was a killer blow.
“I made the tackle and got booked for it – and I didn’t think it was a booking – and the minute I got up I knew it was the end of the game for me.”
In his short time on the pitch, MacDonald showed why boss Gary Rowett was so keen to bring him in on loan – and if Symes’ header from his cross had not slammed into the bar, it would have been a perfect start for him.
“I thought it was in the net as well,” he said. “We’d talked about it. Big Symesy up there is a handful and he took his goal well.
“I think if we get balls in the box with him around, he’ll cause the opposition a lot of problems.
“My first thought was to put it in the box and Symesy thought it was a goal himself.”
MacDonald first heard that Burton were interested in him in early January and was glad to finally get a deal done to come to the Pirelli Stadium.
“It’s been going on for a few weeks – a good two-and-half weeks, so it was a long time coming,” he said. “I was dying to get out of Burnley to come and play and it was a good opportunity for me to come to Burton and there were a few other people sniffing around.
“It was right for me to come to Burton and it was a case of waiting and waiting. On deadline day it went through and I was looking forward to the month.
“The injury’s a little bit of setback, but hopefully I can show people what I’m about in the last few weeks.”
MacDonald has endured a difficult time at Burnley, filling in on the bench and admits he should have depararted Turf Moor sooner.
“It’s been a frustrating few years at Burnley,” he said. “I’ve been in and out on the bench a lot.
“A lot of managers have told me they like me and don’t want to get rid of me. It’s time to move on now.
“Maybe last summer I should have left but I’d had a little girl and it just wasn’t the right time I don’t think.
“For personal reasons more than career it was good to just stay around there with the people we needed around us at the time.
“Looking back at that now I maybe should have moved on, but I’m here now and it’s a month I’m looking to really show everyone what I’m capable of like I did when I was a down at Plymouth and then hopefully move on from there.”
MacDonald relished his first spells at Plymouth Argyle and is hoping for similar success at Burton.
“I had two loan spells at Plymouth I enjoyed,” he said. “I like the club – they gave me a chance under Carl Fletcher.
“He was brilliant for me and was very unlucky to get the sack. That’s football – it’s ruthless.
“I just wanted to get out and get playing football again.
“I think it was looking as if I was going to go down there, but like I said football’s ruthless.
“That’s well gone now. I’m looking forward to this month at Burton.
“It’s just a bit of a bummer getting a start and having to come off after 20 minutes.”
Rowett has mooted the possibility of a permanent move to the Pirelli for MacDonald should he impress in his loan spell.
And the player would be keen to talk terms come the end of his contract at Burnley.
“It’s something that’s been spoken about in brief and it’s something I’d really be interested in,” he said. “It’s a good club, the set-up and training ground are brilliant.
“I need a fresh start and somewhere to settle down for a little while.”