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MacDonald turns back the clock

26 September 2013

Latics' striker on his return to Crawley

As Charlie MacDonald prepares for a return to Crawley Town on Saturday, Latics' striker still to pinch himself at the fairytale rise of his former club.

When MacDonald (pictured) signed for Crawley back in 2003 they were part timers playing in the Dr Martens League.

MacDonald's arrival coincided with the start of Crawley's rise as his goals helped them win the Premier Division title in his first season at the club.

He then had the honour of scoring Crawley's first-ever goal in the Conference.

MacDonald recalled: "I had no idea what would happen as we were part time when I played for them. It was later they were taken over and went full time which is when it started to kick in.

"They suddenly had money and managed to attract very good players who helped bring them through the leagues to the strong position they now find themselves in League One.

"It is a great success story and reminded me of the set up at Rushden and Diamonds and Stevenage and the way they came from nowhere into the Football League.

"All three clubs were of a similar stature coming up through the leagues and winning promotion several times."

MacDonald added that Crawley now look like an established League One side as they currently find themselves in ninth place.

And after playing against Crawley last season, MacDonald knows Latics will be in for a challenging afternoon at The Broadfield Stadium.

He said: "They are a good side and have some attacking players who are a threat and who score goals so we will have to be tight at the back.

"They have some good players including Nicky Adams, Gary Alexander and Billy Clarke. All three of them were team-mates at Brentford and they are all dangerous players.

"Crawley are a threat and definitely a team you need to do your homework on.

"If we can keep their dangerous players quiet, I am sure we can get a positive result and shake off the tag of being brave losers."

MacDonald believes Latics have performed well on their travels which could be down to the onus being on the home team to win the game.

And he says it is important for the team to take the lead which means they can dictate games.

He continued: "I think we have only been ahead once in games which gives you a mountain to climb.

"Once you are ahead you can kick on rather than having to battle back.

"When teams take the lead at Boundary Park it is difficult because teams fight to keep a clean sheet and are happy to go away with a 1-0 win."

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