Eye-opening time for Villa boss

August 26, 2010

MacDonald was placed in charge by owner Randy Lerner following Martin O'Neill's exit and has overseen an opening day win over West Ham followed by the 6-0 thrashing at Newcastle. He has also taken the club to the brink of the Europa League group stages after a 1-1 draw away to Rapid Vienna in the qualifying-tie's first leg. MacDonald must now decide whether to go with his big names or rest them as the did in the first leg when a number of younger players acquitted themselves well. Picking the team is just one of many things MacDonald has had to get used to since O'Neill left. "I think it's been an eye-opener from the point of view of the amount of time that I have to spend speaking to the media and doing all the other stuff," he said. "It's been quite easy for me for 15 years - I just go to the training ground, do my work, go back out on the training ground in the afternoon then walk away and maybe manage to go and have a game of golf sometimes. "I can see now why the pressures are on managers and the spotlight's on them all the time." Although MacDonald does not know whether he will be in charge for the long term he expects activity at the club before the transfer window closes on Tuesday. He said: "I've seen one or two players that I think might make the club better, but whether we can go and do anything about that, nothing has been said. "With two days left after Sunday (until the transfer window shuts), a lot can happen in those 48 hours as you saw last year when we signed Richard Dunne, James Collins and Stephen Warnock within the last couple of days. "The timescale isn't a big issue I don't think." Villa defender Carlos Cuellar has backed MacDonald's decision to give youth its chance in the first leg. Cuellar said: "It's very good for them because they have the opportunity to improve and to learn." Cuellar acknowledged the importance of Villa making it to the group stage. He added: "It's very important because the club and the players want to go and play in Europe. We get more experience and it means you can then play better in the league as well."