MacDonald back firing on all cylinders for the Stags

Alex MacDonald - Pic By James Williamson
Alex MacDonald - Pic By James Williamson

Mansfield Town winger Alex MacDonald believes he is now almost firing on all cylinders after a frustrating start to the season.

Ahead of the tough trip to Coventry City on Saturday, fans’ favourite MacDonald said his early season fitness woes were now behind him and, while always giving everything when selected, he believes he is getting sharper by the game.

“One thing I’ve always tried to implement in my game is give everything, no matter how I am with the ball or without the ball,” he said.

“It’s something I pride myself on – making sure I give 110 per cent every game.

READ STEVE EVANS’ THOUGHTS ON THE COVENTRY TRIP

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“It took a while to get my fitness back but I think I am there now. “I’ve played 90 minutes for the last few games and I am starting to feel sharp. I am just missing a few littler bits and pieces in my game, but I’m getting there.”

He added: “It’s been a bit stop-start. I was finding my feet at the back end of last year and, if anything, I just didn’t want the season to end.

“I came back pre-season and felt sharp and felt fit, then unfortunately I took a knock on my knee that needed a minor operation. Then you have to get your fitness back.

“All that is behind me now and we still have a lot to play for this year. I am certainly excited for the rest of the season.”

MacDonald said it was time to grab a first League Two win in six outings on Saturday, admitting: “It’s been frustrating.

“We are getting ourselves into leads and not hanging onto them and we are as frustrated as anyone. We are really happy with our performances, which have been improving. The only thing missing is coming away with three points.”

However, Stags have won three cup games recently and MacDonald said the cups were far from a distraction.

“There is one thing you can never get sick of and that is winning,” he said.

“You look at recent results - advancing in the Checkatrade and advancing in the FA Cup - you breed that winning mentality which is something we really want to get going here. There’s nothing wrong with winning football matches no matter where it is.”

But, having played away at Coventry for Oxford United, MacDonald knows first hand how tough Stags’ first ever trip to the Ricoh Arena will be on Saturday.

“It’s a lovely stadium. It’s a really enclosed ground and the pitch is always magnificent,” he said.

“We’re facing a tough Coventry team who are certainly on the up at the minute.

“They have a good squad like ourselves and hopefully we are going to go and implement ourselves on them and look to come away with something. I think it’s going to be a good game.”

MacDonald was full of praise for man of the moment Danny Rose, whose spectacular brace took him to 10 goals for the season last weekend. He was also quick to remind Rose whose cross set up the BBC Goal of the Round for him!

MacDonald smiled: “Rosey forgets sometimes who puts them on a plate for him!

“It went into a good area for him and all credit to him, it’s a magnificent finish. It deserved goal of the round and he deserves all he gets.

“It’s great for him. He is one of those guys you really want to do well because of how hard he works, and away from football he’s a lovely lad as well.

“He deserves all the praise he’s getting for how he plays – he leaves everything on the pitch.”