ALEX MacDonald says Saturday’s defeat against Southend United was a real kick in the teeth for Burton Albion.
The Brewers went down 1-0 in injury time at the Pirelli Stadium after bossing long spells of the game, despite Billy Kee’s sending off in the first half.
“When you work so hard and are so close to getting something from the game – and at half-time people would have doubted we could get something from the game – it’s a kick in the teeth,” said MacDonald.
“It’s Sod’s law.
“We went down to 10 men and it was a bit unlucky because if you look there was a foul on Billy prior to him making the (second) tackle.
“We felt we were a bit unfortunate and it came just before half-time and gave us an uphill task.
“But we had more chances on goal than they did in the second half and Matty Palmer came on and made a difference.
“He was really unlucky not to score.
“We’ll come in again on Monday morning, work hard and go again next Saturday at Chesterfield.”
MacDonald, 23, who put in a man-of-the-match performance, says Albion can take great heart from their performance against the Shrimpers.
“We walked off with pride today having worked so hard and personally I thought we deserved something from it,” said the winger.
“We’ve got a great base to work from and the manager emphasised that in the changing room.
“Working from a base like that, working hard and the togetherness we’ve got out there – the team spirit – we won’t be far from it.
“The last two or three games we’ve worked exceptionally hard and it’s just small margins.”
MacDonald’s performance have steadily improved since the start of the season.
Manager Gary Rowett has praised the summer signing’s commitment to improving his fitness levels.
MacDonald himself reckons he is now seeing the results of all his hard work.
“I started off a little bit slowly,” admitted the former Burnley man. “Maybe I wasn’t as fit as everybody else coming back, which was partly my own fault.
“It’s not like I didn’t do anything over summer – I probably just didn’t do as much as everyone else.
“It was my first summer with my little girl and we went on a few holidays and things like that.
“I spoke to the manager on numerous occasions and have been working with (fitness and conditioning coach) Jack Sharkey on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, coming in early and really working hard.
“I think it’s starting to show in my performances, I’m getting stronger and stronger and better and better.”
Now, MacDonald wants to repay Rowett’s faith in him with solid performances every week for the Brewers.
“I need to get as fit as I can and keep working hard,” he said. “The manager’s shown a lot of faith in bringing me to the club in the summer
“I’d like to repay him and I hope performances like today, last week and the week before I’m starting to get fitter and fitter and better and better.”