Shaun MacDonald guest column: ‘Long-term goal in sight as I look to come back’

Shaun MacDonald
Shaun MacDonald

For the lads it’s been a really good start to the season, really positive.

Now it’s not just about continuing that winning feeling and pushing on – but keeping our feet on the ground.

I know I’m not just going to walk straight back into the team but I will do everything I can to get back fit

Shaun MacDonald

It’s important to not get too high when we’re winning and too low where we’re losing.

It’s been drummed into us and we have to keep learning, keep improving.

Last year was a tough time – not just for me getting injured when I suffered a double leg break against Reading in April – but for the squad as well, it was a test of character.

We went into games under a lot of pressure and it’s a different feeling this year.

We’ve started well, there’s a good feeling about the place with the togetherness and hopefully that will stay and we can kick on.

We have new lads who’ve come in, have been brilliant and earned respect from the players, and there are also more lads to come back from injury.

For some it’s weeks, some it’s months – I’m more a long term.

Recently Craig Morgan was ruled out, he needs a hip operation, and we’ll be pushing each other on to get as fit as we can.

And we’re all pleased with how Reece James came back from his lengthy injury.

I know Reece really well and he’s not just a good lad, but a great pro.

Things haven’t gone that well for him from a football point of view but he’s kept his head down, worked hard in the game the other day and it was a very impressive performance.

It’s a nice feeling to see long-term injuries come back, get a chance and do well and that’s what I’ll be looking to do down the line.

For me, my comeback will be around Christmas really, give or take.

Hopefully there’s no setbacks and I can aim for that date so that’s my target. For me it’s the short term goals at the moment.

I’ve recently started jogging on the alter-G machine. My next step is to try and run on that and then get out on the grass and try to jog and run on there.

It’s a very busy period so hopefully that target can be reached and I can get back amongst it with the lads and start kicking a football around again.

It’s not that straightforward for me. I know I’m not just going to walk straight back into the team but I will do everything I can to get back fit, get back training and as soon as I get to that target I’ll be looking to play first team football again.

The toughest period for me so far was the first game of the season.

I woke up and there was that bit of a buzz around but for me it was waking up and coming in and working hard in the gym,

That was the toughest day so far for me mentally but then the lads got the win – I’m really happy for everyone and it continued.

But we have to keep working hard and I think if we stick to that we’ll be perfectly fine and can only get better.