Macca expects Argyle revival
STRIKER Alex MacDonald has insisted he would not have returned to Plymouth Argyle had he thought they were set to struggle in League Two this season.
The 22-year-old has been signed on loan from Championship club Burnley until October 6, and is eligible to play for the Pilgrims against Northampton Town at Home Park today (3pm).
He travelled to Plymouth from his home in Lancashire on Thursday night and took part in a light training session yesterday morning.
MacDonald spent the final two months of last season on loan to Argyle, and played an important part in their successful escape from relegation.
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Manager Carl Fletcher has been trying to bring MacDonald back to Home Park all summer, and has now finally succeeded.
The Pilgrims have picked up only one point from their first three fixtures in League Two this term, but MacDonald is convinced their fortunes will soon improve.
He told Herald Sport: "It hasn't been the best of starts for Plymouth but, as so many people say, it's a long, long season.
"They have got plenty of time to turn it around and I'm hoping to be part of a successful team.
"I wouldn't have come here if I thought it was going to be a long, hard season. The squad they have got is a good one at this level
"I enjoy working with the manager and the fans are great. They really get behind the team. So everything is positive from my point of view."
Fletcher tried to sign MacDonald on a permanent transfer earlier in the summer, but without success.
MacDonald became a father for the first time shortly after the end of last season – his daughter is called Chloe – and because of that 'it just wasn't the right time' to make the move.
Fletcher retained his interest in the striker, however, and renewed his attempts to conclude a deal earlier this week.
Argyle travelled to Burnley for a Capital One Cup second round tie on Tuesday, in a match which MacDonald started for the home side.
Fletcher spoke to MacDonald on the pitch before the game and broached the subject.
MacDonald, whose only previous appearance for Burnley this season had been as a late substitute in a 2-0 defeat at Huddersfield Town last Saturday, did not need much persuading about returning to Home Park.
He said: "I was having a chat with a few of the (Argyle) lads on the pitch before the game when the manager (Fletcher) came over.
"We had a nice chat and he asked me if I wanted to come back to Plymouth. We got things sorted the next day and I travelled down on Thursday night.
"We had a light training session yesterday and, although there are some new faces from last season, it was good to see all the lads I know. There was a bit of banter going around.
"It's something I'm looking forward to. It's another opportunity for me to show people what I'm capable of."
MacDonald's respect for Fletcher was clearly a factor in him re-signing for Argyle.
"I like the fact he's open," said MacDonald. "When I left his office yesterday he told me if I ever had any problems I wanted to talk to someone about he was there for me. Not a lot of managers are like that. Some are quite distant from the players. I like Carl's training. To me, he's a manager you want to work for."
Argyle were beaten 3-2 by Burnley in a penalty shoot-out on Tuesday, following a 1-1 draw after extra-time.
MacDonald admitted it had been a 'weird' experience playing against Argyle but said: "Work is work and you try to put that all to one side."
His latest loan spell at Argyle will cover a period of eight league games, up to and including the visit of AFC Wimbledon to Home Park on October 6. MacDonald admitted he was not thinking any further forward than that.
Meanwhile, Argyle's 18-year-old forward Isaac Vassell has signed on loan for Southern League Premier Division club Bideford until December 1.
Vassell made eight first team appearances for the Pilgrims last season, all of them as a substitute, but has not been involved so far this term.
Another Argyle youngster, winger Jed Harper-Penman, is also on loan to Bideford.
ARGYLE has released French utility player Ladjie Soukouna.