Interview: Gary MacKenzie

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By James Hunter
It has been a frustrating start to the season for summer signing Gary MacKenzie as he has been sidelined with injury and has had to bide his time to make his debut for St Mirren. So after a couple of outings with the under-20 side Gary started in Saturday’s IRN-BRU Cup tie against Albion Rovers and while it was good to get his debut under his belt he had a baptism of fire to his life as a Buddie as the Saints had to battle back from two goals down to win the tie 4-3.
Gary said: “It was good to get out on to the pitch and play a proper game. Obviously the game didn’t go to plan and I didn’t plan on playing extra-time as well but that is just what you have got to do.
“We need to stop giving away soft goals, that is clear for everybody to see. Three set-plays with what we have got in the team shouldn’t happen, so that is disappointing but in terms of general play I thought we dictated play and showed a bit of character to come back into the game and get in front. But again we shoot ourselves in the foot by giving away a soft goal from set-plays, that needs to stop and it will stop, I’m sure it will, people just need to take more responsibility and make better decisions.
“But in general play I thought we passed the ball about pretty well on a tricky surface, it wasn’t the best surface I’ve ever played on but we tried and we kept probing away and got the result which is the most important thing in the cup, getting through and get your name into the hat and trying to take some positives out of it, but also sort the frailties that we showed because that is unacceptable.”
It has been a frustrating summer for the defender but he knew he had to be patient with the process of recovering from his injury.
Gary said: “When you’re sat at the sides and the boys have had a bit of a stop-start season that makes it all the more frustrating and you want to get back out and play but with the problem I’ve got I need to do it properly, I can’t rush back and then end up breaking down in a couple of weeks or a month’s time and it happens through the season.
“So we agreed when I got the injection that it would take its time and do it properly so that hopefully it sets me up to then play for the rest of the season. So made the sacrifice at the start to hopefully gain throughout the season. I’m just glad to be back, I’m obviously tired and stuff [after Saturday’s game] but the most important thing is getting the result and also I’ve got minutes under my belt now that I can take on to next week.”
Gary played last midweek with the under-20 side and wasn’t banking on playing an additional thirty minutes of extra-time on Saturday but now that it is done the defender is glad to get his Saints career up and going with a win.
He said: “I was feeling a bit leg weary after about eighty minutes to be honest. I played seventy or eighty minutes last Tuesday. To be fair to them [Albion Rovers] they made a game of it but as I said we shot ourselves in the foot by giving away soft goals. We made it more difficult than it should have been but that is football, you never know especially in the cup. You just need to take it as it comes and we showed good character to come back and get the win.”