Mansfield Town aiming for another unbeaten run, says winger Alex MacDonald

Alex MacDonald scores after coming on as a substitute against Hartlepool on his home debut.
Alex MacDonald scores after coming on as a substitute against Hartlepool on his home debut.

Transfer deadline day signing Alex MacDonald says the Stags will be looking to start another successful run when they entertain bottom-of-the-table Newport on Saturday.

Winger MacDonald was part of the side beaten 3-0 at Grimsby last weekend as Mansfield Town’s nine-match unbeaten league record was abruptly ended.

But now the Stags face three games in a week, including two long trips to Yeovil and Cheltenham, as they try to maintain their push for the promotion play-offs.

MacDonald said: “The belief in the dressing room is still there. We have our goals and things that we want to do. Although we haven’t had two amazing results in the last couple (of games), we have been on a great run prior to that when I first joined.

“We are looking to start (again) on Saturday and hopefully get another good run going.

“Three games in quick succession is probably what we need after a couple of poor results. We have got a real chance to put that right. Hopefully we can get a positive result on Saturday and take that into two long away trips.”

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Reflecting on the defeat at Grimsby, which ended the Stags’ nine-match unbeaten league run, MacDonald said: “It was bad. It wasn’t one of our better performances and it’s one we are looking to move on quickly from and one to forget.

“It was way below the mark we set ourselves, but the beauty of football is we have got a real chance to put that right against Newport on Saturday.

“But we have seen this year more than any other that it is a league where anyone can beat anyone.

“I think they’re (Newport) on quite a good run of form at the minute as well, considering they’re bottom of the table. They’ve got a good manager in there now and he’s starting to implement his stuff on it.

“We’re looking to impose our style on them and hopefully come away with a positive result.

“It’s (League Two) a hard league to get out of. It’s physical but there’s a lot of teams that can really play now and there’s a lot of good individual players who have come down to League Two. It is hard, but it’s been just as hard the last few years I’ve been playing in it.”

MacDonald, who started his career at Burnley and was part of Oxford United’s League Two promotion-winning side a year ago, said the Stags’ ambition was one of the reasons why he agreed to make his switch in January.

“A lot of people spoke very highly of him (Steve Evans). It was a good chance to come to a club that was on the up and to work with Steve Evans was another big factor in me coming.

“It’s a very well-run club. It’s a club that’s got ambition and it matched mine. With the appointment of Steve (Evans) and the squad that they have assembled, it was something that I was really keen to take on and since I’ve been here there has been no surprises.

“It’s a really good squad and a very good set-up. I’m just looking forward to being part of something going forward.”

The wingman said he was under no pressure to leave Oxford, but despite playing many games for the Us this season he was told he would not be getting as much game time.

He said: “I just felt it was best to move on, go somewhere else and start to enjoy my football. I left on good terms with the manager and the club.”

The 26-year-old, who scored a terrific goal on his home debut in the 4-0 demolition of Hartlepool, said Stags fans had yet to see the best of him.

MacDonald, who got the keys to his home in Farnsfield this week after his deadline day move, said: “It has been a hard couple of weeks getting back to match fitness. I’m starting to get there but as from Saturday onwards I think I’m going to start seeing the best of myself.

“I am not a big fan of commuting, I enjoy being local to work and not having to get up at silly o’clock in the morning. I am happy that I have settled and got a house. It’s onwards and upwards from now.”

“I’ve settled in really well and I’m just looking forward to showing some good performances on the pitch on a Saturday.

“I think I’ve got nowhere near where I know I’m capable of getting yet. The more games that come, hopefully if I get selected I can stamp my mark on games and really start to show everyone what I’m about.”