Macca ready for Sunderland test.
Energetic midfielder Alex MacDonald spoke with the press ahead of Gillingham’s tricky Sky Bet League One fixture with Sunderland. The experienced player, who has previously enjoyed a spell under Steve Evans at Mansfield, said his teammates are positive ahead of their game against The Black Cats, discussed recent form and had a message for Gills fans watching at home.
“We are creating chances, we are getting into good areas and we are looking solid. Our main gripe when we are coming in to training in the morning is not taking our chances. I think the most pleasing thing for us is that we are playing top opposition such as Ipswich and Portsmouth and we are creating numerous good chances. As long as we keep creating them, then I am sure there will come a time where we are putting teams to the sword and putting two or three past them.
“We have conceded a few sloppy goals but we are we are creating, we are looking good and we are working hard. There are no rifts in the dressing room; we are a tight-knit group. We are an honest bunch who are trying to work as hard as we can and get ourselves out of trouble.
“We were solid against Ipswich in the second half and good on the break. We were such a threat on the break. We started with Big John (John Akinde) and Dom (Dominic Samuel) up top and they were a real handful on the night. If we keep working hard then the tide will turn.
“We are focused on these good performances turning into good results.”
Mixing youth and experience
“I didn’t expect the team to be as young as it is but there is also lot of experience in there. We will be here to help and guide the young players. The manager has brought in some very talented players, some of them are unbelievable. It’s our job as senior pros to try and help these young lads to flourish at Gillingham and ultimately win games.
“I’m quite a bubbly character. I think when the day comes where I hate coming to training or I stop giving advice to younger players or try help with my previous experiences, it’s probably time to retire and walk away from football.”
“The injury list is a hard one to take. Some are long term. I have had some injuries but I’m back in the team now and I’m desperate to keep the shirt. When you are injured, it’s difficult mentally and physically to come in every day and you watch the lads go out to train while you are stuck in the gym.
“As a team you can’t dwell on it and the best answer is to go out there and put in strong performances and get the results for the lads who can’t help.
“There is a responsibility to perform, whether you have a full squad, whether you have a depleted squad, whether you have injuries or whether you have people away.”
“It is a massive challenge. You look at League One football and you don’t expect to see Sunderland in it. It’s just the way that it has gone for them. I know a few of the lads there and it is a top football club with talented players. Saturday is going to be a difficult one.
“To see a League One with teams like these, it’s tough. But it is a test we are looking forward to.
“We are not prepared to be on the back foot. If you play for a Steve Evans side you can’t be prepared to sit on the back foot. We are ready to take the game to them. We want to impose ourselves because we are a good team.
“We are going in there full of confidence. We are really optimistic about our performances. We are looking for a positive result on Saturday.
“We want a Gills win, no matter how it comes. We need to go out there and work as hard as we can as an eleven and hopefully that will be enough to get a result.”
“I’ve played down here a few times. The Gills fans come out and stand out in the cold and at times they even suck the ball into the net. It’s difficult for us to not have the fans here. We are missing the fans that is for sure. We don’t get to clap them and say how much we appreciate their support through these times.
“To fans who are following us on iFollow, which I am sure they are in numbers, keep with us. It’s certainly a young squad and we are trying to find our way and a way of winning. I think you can see how hard we are working and you can see there is not a lack of effort. We will roll up our sleeves and look forward to the challenge ahead. Keep with us and hopefully the tide will change soon.
“When we have press conferences like this, it is our time to say thank you. It will be nice to clap them before games and when we are coming off the pitch and really show our appreciation.”