Josh Macdonald says his loan spell at Whitley Bay did him the world of good after setting up the winner on his return to action for Halifax.
The winger started Town’s 1-0 win at Sutton on Tuesday night, and provided the cross for Michael Duckworth to score the decisive goal.
That was after three goals and five assists in seven appearances on loan for Whitley Bay, where he went to help build up his match fitness after returning from his long-term injury.
”It was excellent,” Macdonald said of his loan spell. “I think a lot of people thought ‘why has he dropped down to that league?’ but I knew what it was for, the gaffer knew what it was for. “I needed to get minutes, and I played as much as I could there. They had a lot of games Saturday-Tuesday so I got as many games in as I could.
“I got my confidence up, scored a few goals and got some assists, so it worked out brilliantly.
“I know the manager at Whitley Bay very well, I know he was giving the gaffer updates after every game. “The gaffer didn’t just forget about me, he kept track of everything.”
Macdonald added: “I worked hard in my rehab. The team was doing so well so I couldn’t get in the side, which was frustrating.
“So we decided the only way I’m going to be ready is if I go and get minutes.
“I did well and the gaffer put me in on Tuesday, and hopefully I’ve done enough.
“I didn’t get on the ball as much as I wanted to but sometimes you’ve got to dig in for the team and do the defensive work. “I got my chance to deliver the ball and Ducky put it away.”
Macdonald said he was told at around 6pm on Tuesday that he would be starting at Sutton.
“I had an inkling, but I had seven games on loan so I was ready,” he said.
”The gaffer knew I was in good form, and he said to me before the game ‘I’m not going to not play you because you’ve come back in such good form’.
“I’ve got to perform on the pitch now and hopefully keep my shirt.
“I didn’t get on the ball and get at people as much as I wanted to, but sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice your own game. “I like to get the ball wide and get at people, but we defended well as a team and I was tucking in a lot.”
Tuesday was Macdonald’s first Town start since February last year, and coincided with The Shaymen putting their 5-0 drubbing at Bromley behind them to move up to second in the table.
”Good teams bounce back,” he said. “You’re always going to have a bad spell, obviously it was a bad result on Saturday, but it’s how you bounce back.
“It was a massive win on Tuesday. It’s a long way down, but we went back on the bus happy.
“We’re still up there in the league, it’s not like we’re battling against relegation.
“Confidence is still up, we know we can do it, we’ve proved that.
“Everyone’s confidence is still there and we’ve shown on Tuesday that we can sit in, defend well and hit teams on the counter.”
The 24-year-old also thanked the Halifax fans for their support, adding: “The fans are excellent. They were messaging me on Twitter asking ‘how’s your rehab been going?’ “I can’t thank the fans enough for what they’ve done, keeping in touch with me.
“Hopefully I can get on the pitch and repay them.”