8:00am Friday 13th February 2009
By Stuart Amos
Striker Charlie MacDonald reckons he is in the form of his career and has heralded the arrival of Jordan Rhodes as a breath of fresh air to Brentford’s title hopes.
The former Southend man, who celebrates his 28th birthday today, bagged a hat-trick in Saturday’s 3-0 triumph over Chester City - the first league triple of his career.
Rhodes hit an injury time equaliser in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Accrington Stanley to put the Bees top of the League Two table and take his tally to five goals in six games since his arrival.
The front pair have notched nine goals since teaming up for last month’s 2-0 defeat at Macclesfield Town to put boss Andy Scott’s men ahead of the promotion chasing pack on goal difference.
And MacDonald, enjoying the best stint of his career in the league ranks, reckons the Ipswich Town loanee has brought with him a change in tactics that is suiting his own game to a tee.
“The style of football we had been playing meant I was doing a lot running down the channels and putting crosses in when I felt I should have been the one in the middle getting the chances,” he said.
“It doesn’t bother me because there are times when you have to do the ugly stuff, but since Jordan has come the ball has been coming into our feet more. I’m really enjoying it, particularly when you have days like Saturday.
“When Dean Bowditch went there was talk about how we were going to replace him. We’ve got Jordan now and with Nathan Elder coming back, it gives us every chance of getting promotion.
“Jordan has given everyone a lift and I feel like I’m playing the best football of my career.”
MacDonald is one of only a handful of experienced senior pros at the club, which include Brentford stalwart Kevin O’Connor - who made his 300th start in a Bees shirt against Chester.
The 26-year-old midfielder has 34 goals in nearly ten seasons with the Bees to his name and MacDonald admits that while he has that target in his sights, it is unlikely he’ll chase it down this season.
“For a player of Kevin’s calibre to be at one club all his career is a tremendous achievements. You see it with the likes of Ryan Giggs at the top level, but it is very rare to see it lower down,” he added.
“Time isn’t on my side when it comes to beating Kevin’s appearance tally, but I think his goals tally is the one I should be able to beat. I’m not sure I’ll get there this ytear though.
“I don’t like to set targets, but I would be disappointed if I didn’t get at least 20 goals now. I’ve always been around the ‘goal-every-other-game’ mark so hopefully I’ll get there sooner rather than later.”
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