Shaun MacDonald: I’m ready and waiting if WIgan Athletic need me

Shaun MacDonald
Shaun MacDonald

Shaun MacDonald says he is ready to “make the step-up” if an opportunity comes his way between now and the end of the season.

The midfielder, out of contract in the summer, hasn’t appeared in the league since suffering an horrific broken leg against Reading in 2017.

But despite inevitable speculation over his future, the 30-year-old has the blinkers on as Latics focus on cementing their Championship status.

“Right now I have to remember I’m a Wigan Athletic player. I come in, I work hard every day,” he said.

“My attitude won’t change whether I’m involved or not involved.”

MacDonald has been keeping match fit by playing for the club’s under-23s, and insists he is putting thoughts about his own future to the back of his mind.

“Right now, I know it’s a cliche, people say take it game by game, I’m taking it day by day,” he explained.

“I’m working hard and we’ll see what happens until the end of the season.

“I’m paid to come and work as hard as I can, fight for my place and keep it competitive really and keep people on their toes.”

A Wales international, MacDonald’s injury has forced him to watch on from the sidelines – as his clubmates stormed to the League One title last term.

“The frustrating thing for me is I’ve been out for a long time through no fault of my own really. It was a tough season,” he mused.

“I missed the full season the first year the gaffer was here and the lads in front of me got the side promoted that year and did really well. There’s a strong core to the squad.

“I’m frustrated because as a professional you always want an opportunity to prove you’re still good enough and I believe I am still good enough.

“Opportunities haven’t come for whatever reason and I need to keep working hard and keep in the manager’s mind.

“I’ve played in the majority of the under-23 games, so I am getting minutes in behind closed doors and that’s all I can keep doing really - keep working hard and we’ll re-evaluate in the summer.”

Regardless of whether he breaks into the team, MacDonald believes Paul Cook’s squad will steer clear of a relegation battle as the season draws into the final straight.

With 14 games to go, Latics are five points clear of the bottom three. “I have no doubt – it’s a great bunch of lads,” he said.

“We do have a really competitive squad which I have no doubt will keep the club in the division and kick on in the future.

“They’re great lads, an honest group. The signings in January have been good additions to the squad and there’s a lot of talent.

“I’ve always said that, since day one.”

And regardless of whether his input is on the pitch or out on the training paddock, MacDonald will not switch off.

“It’s not about me really. When we speak about the team, I’m a team player. I come in and keep doing what I’m doing. My attitude will always be right,” he said.

“I work for Wigan Athletic and my future right now is Wigan Athletic – that doesn’t change.”

And he hasn’t given-up on playing a part in how this season pan out.

He said: “Anything can happen in football. An opportunity might arise between now and the end of the season and if that’s the case I’m ready to take it and step-up.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the lads, about staying up and we’ve definitely got enough in the squad.”