Mack vows to keep his head

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A MOMENT of madness’ caused Gary MacKenzie to see red against Tranmere but he admitted he is not planning a repeat this weekend as his Dons side take on Rovers on Saturday.

The big defender was sent off when the clubs last met at the end of October after an altercation with Rovers’ Tim Cathalina - a game that Dons went on to lose 4-2.

He said: “I’ll keep a calm head this time, as long as we’re not three down inside 20 minutes again!

“That was a mistake from me, I held my hands up and took my punishment, so hopefully it won’t happen again.

“Tranmere’s winger was pretty lively last time, and I felt we should have dealt with them a lot better than we did, but I fancy us to win the game.”

Since joining Dons from Dundee in the summer, MacKenzie has suffered a spate of injuries and has made just 10 appearances for the club. But he hopes to put the first half of the season behind him and cement his place in the starting line-up.

“For me, this season has been frustrating,” said the 25-year-old. “I got injured at the beginning, it took a while for me to get fit and when I got in the team, I felt I was doing pretty well. But then I got sent off after a moment of madness and that lost me my place in the team, but I’m back in it now.

“I did pretty last Saturday against Exeter, and I’m looking forward to this weekend, for a good result and a good game for myself.”

Injury ruled MacKenzie out until the middle of September, preventing him from taking full part in pre-season training, but he insists he is fitting in well with his new team-mates and is enjoying his time at the club.

“I have enjoyed my time here. Even when I wasn’t playing in the team, I’m with a good bunch of lads and I have a couple of good friends already who have helped my settle in already.”

Last week’s point at St James’ Park was cited as a ‘turning point’ by his manager concerning Dons dreadful away record this season, and MacKenzie is still confident that they can get in the play-offs.

He said: “I’ve been surprised by this league - I thought someone would be building a gap at the top but everyone is taking points off everyone else.

“We need to capitalise now and put a run together - five or six games - and we will be right in there, and there is no reason why we can’t.

“Hopefully, we can get a few good results at home and take that form away. There is nothing worse than being stuck mid-table and knowing you’re not able to get up there, but the door has been left open for us, so it’s a great encouragement to get us up there.”