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MacDonald: "We're where we deserve to be!"

23 December 2016

Reds defender feels the club are exactly where they should be at this stage in the season.

Barnsley defender Angus MacDonald’s personal progress has surprised even him since he joined the club in the summer.

The Reds have taken nine points out of a possible 12 and remain five points outside the play-offs heading into the Christmas period.

He feels Barnsley are deserving of their position in the table and added that there is more to come from them, and hopes to continue his own strong form over the coming weeks and months.

He said: “I’m surprised at where I am but not where the club is, we're where we deserve to be. It’s a massive club with a lot of history and they deserve to be there, with everything they’ve achieved.

“It’s a massive step up and it hasn’t sunk in yet to be honest. I expected to get a couple of games and kick on next season,” he quipped.

“Obviously coming in because of the departure of Alfie Mawson left the door open for me and I wanted to do my best when I came in and now I can kick on.

“I’ve come on leaps and bounds physically and mentally, it’s more the tempo of the game that if you make a mistake here you’ll get punished, whereas you can recover in the Non-League

“No disrespect to the Non-League but the strikers here are much more clinical and teams put a lot more pressure on you.”

MacDonald has quickly established himself in the Reds side after joining from Torquay United in the summer, making 15 appearances.

He hopes that the Reds have shown other teams in the division that they are more than capable of holding their own and feels their own desire is a large factor in their success.

“We’ve shown we can compete with the big boys in this league. We went to Birmingham away, not as easy place to go, but we score three goals but we like to take our chances and we’d fancy that as well.

“You can see the hunger and the drive of the lads and that helps massively. I think being at the lower league and making that step up, you want to strive to achieve more.

“We’ll keep trying to do our best,” he added.

Last weekend’s narrow victory against Cardiff means the Reds have only lost two of their last nine games.

He said: “Conceding three goals is never ideal but when you go on to win the game it’s a lot better. The staff are happier with three points than conceding three goals but it was good to get the win.

“The strikers are in form at the moment with four goals, and good goals at that, but we’ll try our best at the back to keep them out but as long as they keep putting them in the net that’ll be good.

“We’ve had three massive wins out of four, Birmingham City away and Cardiff City away are big games in the season and we’re really happy.”

A regular run of games for the defender has helped his development as a player and is grateful to have been thrown straight into the side by Paul Heckingbottom.

He feels getting a run of games in the side is helping to aid his development, as well as continue the Reds’ progress.

MacDonald added: “Coming to the Championship from Non-League, I thought I’d try and break my way in or play a couple of games and see if I could break in later on.

“I got chucked in at the deep end and it’s paid off, I need to keep my head down and do well for the rest of the season.

“I was nervous, very nervous but it was good to start on a win, especially a 4-0 win against Rotherham. The first couple of games, I was very on edge, not wanting to give the ball away or this or that.

“You just settle into things and getting a good run of games is vital for me.”

The Reds will be training on Christmas Eve but will be allowed Christmas Day off to spend with their families.

MacDonald will be spending Christmas away from his family this year, but added they will be coming up on Boxing Day to visit the defender.

He explained what his plans are for Christmas Day ahead of the big Boxing Day clash with Blackburn.

“It’s exactly the same, you enjoy Christmas Day and then look forward to the big Boxing Day game, whether that be home or away," he said.

“It’ll just be me and my dog this Christmas so I don’t think there’ll be much talking about football. It’s different to previous years, it’s only the second I’ve spent away from the family.

“It’ll be nice just to chill out with my dog to be honest.”

Watch Angus MacDonald's press conference in full over on Barnsley Player HD!

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