MacDonald reflects on start to Gills career
MacDonald reflects on start to Gills career

Alex MacDonald has this week been reflecting on the start of his Gillingham career which has seen him reunite with the management team of Steve Evans and Paul Rayner – a partnership that both sides hope will flourish once more right here in Kent.

Addressing the sides recent disappointing results, MacDonald painted an encouraging picture for the Gills faithful; “Overall, we’re again coming away happy with a performance against tough, tough opposition,” he said but then admitted, “not taken our chances – that’s the main concern for us at the minute. We’re creating chances and getting into good areas, we’re looking solid, yet the one gripe when we’re coming into training is that we’re not taking our chances!

“But I do think that the most pleasing thing for us is that we’re going to these places, like Ipswich in the week, playing top opposition in a very strong League and we’re creating numerous good chances and as long as we keep crating them. I’m sure there’ll come a time soon where we’re putting teams to the sword and putting two or three past these teams!”

“The second half performance against Ipswich I thought was solid – we were such a threat on the break which started with “Big” John and Dom (Akinde and Samuel) up top who were a real handful on the night, and as long as we keep drilling home and to the young players that we’ve got is that we keep working hard and we keep going in the way that we have and the tide will turn.

“There’s enough experience in there albeit we’re a very young team, the experience that we have is good experience with lads who have been at successful clubs. And if you keep putting these performances in, the tide will turn.”

MacDonald who was one of Evans’ summer signings then spoke of being one of the elder statesmen in the young Gills dressing room – “I’m quite a bubbly character and when the days comes where I come into training and I don’t start offering advice to younger players or trying to help from my previous experiences, its probably the time that I walk away from football, or certainly playing the game!

“The hardest thing for me is probably coming down to Gillingham and not being involved as much as I wanted to. I’ve been with the manager and Rayns long enough to know that you keep working hard and keep giving everything in training sessions and whenever you’re selected to go on the pitch, it will turn and I will get a chance and then its up to me to keep the shirt.”

We then asked MacDonald how different the management team are now at Gillingham to when he played for them previously at Mansfield.

“Not a single difference” he said conclusively before continuing, “Rayns and the manager have their ways of playing, they have their methods of how they train and it’s no different here to where I’ve played for them before, so its pretty much exactly the same as everywhere I’ve been with them to be honest!

“I had offers to stay up North but I think that was one of the main reasons that I know what I’m going to get with the manager and Rayns as they’re a good combination, they got the best out of my previously and when the phone call came to come down here, I was obviously delighted to pursue it.”

The midfielder then spoke of the “missing” Priestfield faithful. “With the fans not being there, I’ve played down here a few times, and when they come out, the Gills fans in the Rainham End at times they can suck the ball behind the net certainly when you’re against it from an opposition team and an opposition player you always felt that way.

“So I think that’s hard and is difficult for us not to have the fans here and certainly when you’ve been here for a player for an opposition team, that’s a massive point as you look at the Gills home form last year, it was quite impressive, it was really quite impressive!

“So not have them and being a supporter, if anything it does help the younger players as you can shout and ball at them when you’re warming up on the side-lines to give them bits of advice and help them in the game, but make no mistake, we’re all missing the fans that’s for sure!”