McDonald fit and raring to goFriday, 20th Dec 2019
“We need to beat teams like Ayr United, Dundee, Inverness away from home as well as at home, and then I think we stand a real chance.
A back injury means Anthony McDonald who is on loan from Hearts, last played a competitive match on 13th August. That was for Hearts under 20s in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup but he has still to make an appearance for Dunfermline in the near four months since the loan deal was agreed.
The eighteen year old midfielder declared it a frustrating time having signed for the club and not been able to play but hopes to change that very soon:-
“I didn’t think it was going to be this long, at all but I’ve worked hard to get back to full fitness and I feel fine now. So, I’m ready to go whenever I get the call.
“I’ve only played two games in three months or something so I need to get back up to speed, get games and then see where it takes me.”
Anthony has been on the bench for the Pars last three league games without being called upon but claims that he is fit and feeling fine:-
“The way the games have gone in the last couple of weeks, they’ve been really tight games, and I’ve not played in a while, so I can understand why I’ve not had a chance to play yet. Obviously Greg’s suspended for Saturday, so hopefully that brings me a chance to play, and I’ll do my best.”
Anthony’s back injury involved bulging discs and he returned to Hearts for treatment and rehab. He explained:-
“I had an old stress fracture there but I don’t think it was giving me any bother, I think it was more the discs. I’m just happy now that that’s gone. It was really awkward more than anything. Certain movements were bad, but I feel fully fit now and raring to go.
“I came back to Dunfermline and have just been trying to build myself up and get into the team here. That’s not worked out but I’m just training here and trying to get fit, hopefully I can get some games.”
Game time has proved hard to come by as Dunfermline went on a good run of form. He admitted that they just need to carry that on.:-
“Obviously we’ve been doing well in the last couple of weeks but last Saturday was a disappointment. We lost a few stupid goals but I think the way we came back after Kiltie got sent off was a sign we’re all switched on.
“The boys did really well with the 10 men. They defended well and caught them on the counterattack, with two good finishes. It shows the togetherness of the squad and we just need to keep carrying that on into next couple of games. We need to bounce back on Saturday for the game against Inverness.”
Anthony was on loan to Inverness Caley Thistle from January to May this year and he knows how big a fixture this is in both camps.
“It’s massive. They’re one of the bigger and better teams in the league and to be in the play-off positions and to go up you need to beat these teams - at home and away. We need to beat teams like Ayr United, Dundee, Inverness away from home as well as at home, and then I think we stand a real chance.
“Inverness are a good side, they play good football. I was there last season so I know quite a bit about them. They’ve got quite a few decent players, they brought in quite a few in the summer, and we just need to be prepared for them because on their day they’re a really good side.”
Having made five starts and nine appearances off the bench last season for the Highlanders he admitted to enjoying his time in the north:-
“It was good. We were disappointed not to get into the finals of the play-offs to give us a chance to go up. That’s football sometimes. I feel I did well there and the boys were really good with me, so I enjoyed my time there. I did get injured and was out for a wee while but in the time I was there I played a fair bit and I enjoyed it.
“I am looking forward to seeing the boys who were there last season, they were all good with me. Inverness are a good side and you always expect them to be up at the top. They always get good results but, as a squad, we’re looking forward to the game.”
Anthony has had no news from Hearts after their new manager coming in. His contact is Gary Naysmith (Hearts’ loan manager):-
“I saw the stuff that was in the papers, that’s just paper talk. Nothing’s been cemented so, to be honest, I’m just concentrating on playing here and trying to get games here before, maybe, I get recalled in January. I don’t know. All I’m concentrating on getting games at the moment.
“I’ve spoken to Gary Naysmith a few times but nothing’s been mentioned about it. He’s just asked me how I’m getting on here and told me to keep my head up, work hard and then hopefully get my opportunity.”
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