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It’s ‘make or break’, admits Burnley striker MacDonald
YOUNG forward Alex MacDonald believes he is heading into a “make or break” season with Burnley.
The 22-year-old this week penned a new one-year contract – his fourth deal with the club since turning professional four years ago.
But in that time he has struggled to cement a regular place in the squad.
After making his debut under Owen Coyle in May 2008, soon after his 18th birthday, the Scotland Under 21 international went on to contribute to the Clarets’ promotion winning campaign.
He began the club’s Premier League season on loan with Falkirk, but on his return was unable to break in under Brian Laws.
The last half of the 2010/11 season was spent on loan at Inverness.
Although manager Eddie Howe was hoping to integrate MacDonald into the squad last season, the Clarets’ youth team product fell victim to the substitutes’ bench shrinking from seven to five, and ended the campaign on loan at Plymouth Argyle, where he scored key goals to keep the club in the Football League.
He expects to start this season away from Turf Moor too – with a spell at a League One club on the cards – after completing a rigorous pre-season programme at Gawthorpe.
But when he returns he is determined to make an impact at Burnley, in what he feels is his last chance with the Clarets.
“It’s a season I’m looking forward to – a make or break season for myself,” said MacDonald. “I’ve been at the club a long time and never really made myself a first team regular.
“If I don’t do that this time, maybe it will be time to move on and look at things.
“But I’m not looking at that yet, only at breaking into the first team and staying there.
“It’s up to myself, I believe in my own ability, that I’m good enough.”
And he feels surviving the basement battle with Plymouth has made him a better player.
“It was a new experience, fighting relegation at the very bottom of league football, which wasn’t a pretty sight,” he said. “But I was part of helping them get out of that mess.”