Angus MacDonald is aiming to become a key figure in the Tigers’ new-look defence in 2018/19.
The centre-back will face competition from summer signings Reece Burke and Jordy de Wijs for a starting berth as the new season gets underway – whilst Ondrej Mazuch will provide a fourth option for Nigel Adkins upon his return from a knee injury picked up in pre-season – and it’s a challenge that MacDonald is relishing.
“It’s always good to have competition for places in every position – it keeps you on your toes and keeps you hungry,” he said.
“The new lads who come in have stepped it up, which is good for everyone because we all know that we’re going to have to be at our best if we want to be in the side and playing games.
“It was nice to see a few new faces come in at the back. We had quite a few loanees from Chelsea last season so with them going back and the likes of Michael Dawson and Max Clark departing the Club, the defence was always going to be new-look this season.
“The new guys have slotted in very easily – it’s almost like we haven’t had any new players come in because we’ve all gelled quickly. There’s a great atmosphere in the group ahead of the start of the new season.”
After coming through 60 minutes of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with former club Barnsley, MacDonald is confident he has now fully recovered from the dislocated shoulder he suffered on the penultimate weekend of the previous campaign and has declared himself ready for selection for the Tigers’ opening fixture against Aston Villa in seven days’ time.
“Personally, I feel good,” he added. “There’s maybe a little way to go still in terms of my match fitness but I’m getting there.
“There’s only a week to go know and everyone is itching to get going. Pre-season is just about out the way and over and done with you, which is something that every player likes to hear! Our focus is firmly on Aston Villa now as we aim to make a positive start to the new campaign.
“I’ll put my hand up to play 100 per cent in the opening game. I feel ready for it and I want to play a key role in helping the Club enjoy a better season this time around.”