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MacDonald is ready to ponder full-time switch to Pilgrims

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 04, 2012

Alex MacDonald: 'I love working under the manager. It's a really good club'   picture: Dave Rowntree/Pinnacle

Alex MacDonald: 'I love working under the manager. It's a really good club' picture: Dave Rowntree/Pinnacle

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Alex MacDonald is keen on a full-time move from Burnley to Plymouth Argyle during the January transfer window.

MacDonald's second loan spell with the Pilgrims ends after the Johnstone's Paint Trophy last-16 tie against Oxford United at Home Park tonight. The 22-year-old forward has been back with the Devon team for the past three months, making 14 starts and two substitute appearances and scoring one goal.

Argyle manager Carl Fletcher has admitted that he wants to conclude a deal for MacDonald in January, finances permitting. The Scotland Under-21 international also spent the final two months of last season on loan to the Pilgrims from the Clarets.

MacDonald said: "As it stands at the minute, I'm going back to Burnley. I haven't spoken to the manager [Sean Dyche] up there yet.

"Under the previous manager [Eddie Howe, who left Turf Moor at the end of October], we were talking in terms of me coming down permanently. At the minute, nothing is sorted but it's something I'm open to and something me and the manager here [Fletcher] have spoken about on a number of occasions.

"It's up to the two clubs now to agree something and then give me the OK to open talks and get personal stuff sorted out," added MacDonald, who made his debut for Burnley in April 2008 but has made only two starts since then, as well as 15 substitute appearances.

During that time, he has had loan spells with Falkirk, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Argyle (twice). MacDonald added: "I don't want to go back to a club if I'm not going to be playing.

"There is nothing better than playing on a Saturday. I enjoy that the most. I think maybe it's time for me to move on from Burnley but that, at the minute, is out of my hands. It's not up to me. I will see what happens over these next few weeks now."

Fletcher has been pleased with the contribution of MacDonald to the Argyle squad over the last three months. He said: "We knew Macca [MacDonald] from last season. He came in and slotted in seamlessly. He has got good quality and good enthusiasm, both on the training pitch and off it. He's one of the lads, really."

Fletcher continued: "We will look to try to do something in January. Macca has said he would like to be here. We will try to sort something out and see if it gets cleared from upstairs. It would be a good addition to the squad."

MacDonald added: "I've always said, since I've been down here, I've enjoyed it. I like the place. It's a great club and I love working under the manager. It's a really good club, where I feel at home."

Argyle will be bidding for their first win in nine matches in all competitions when they play Oxford tonight. Should they achieve that, it would see them move into the last eight of the JPT.

MacDonald said: "I'm looking forward to it. It should be a good game, and it's one we are looking to win. Personally, it's the last game of my loan and, hopefully, I'll go out with a good performance and a win."

Off the pitch, a shortlist of candidates for the new post of Argyle's director of football has been drawn up. Interviews are scheduled to be carried out by an appointments panel chaired by club director Colin Sexstone over the next ten days. Fletcher, who will be part of the panel, has welcomed the decision to add a director of football to the club's staff.

An Argyle spokesman said: "The club has received a good response from high-quality candidates. An appointments panel has considered these applications and shortlisted a number of candidates."

Fletcher said: "There has been a lack of football people around the place for a while. We've got some great commercial and financial people on the board, but football knowledge has been in short supply.

"It would be good to get the right person to come in and help with that side of it.

"From my point of view, I've been a manager for just over a year and I'm still learning. This is the first football club James Brent has owned, so we're both novices.

"We're both learning day to day and it would be good to get in someone with a bit of experience who I can bounce ideas off, or [get] help [from] when I need it.

"When it comes to budgets and other off-field aspects, I've not come close to doing that before, because I've played football for all my career. Help on that side of it would be a bonus. I just want to learn."

Plymouth Argyle (from): Gilmartin, Cole; Berry, Blanchard, Nelson, Bhasera, Lowry, Hourihane, Molesley, Lennox, Young, Gurrieri, Cowan-Hall, Feeney, Madjo, MacDonald, Chadwick, Griffiths, Lecointe, Richards, Harvey.

Doubtful: Young (shoulder).

Unavailable: Purse (suspended), Wotton (back), Williams (stomach muscle).

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