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Clayton McDonald joins Bristol Rovers


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Bristol Rovers new boy Clayton McDonald not guaranteed to start at Rotherham


New-boy Clayton McDonald knows he could be starting life at Bristol Rovers on the bench.


Rovers boss John Ward completed a deal to sign the Port Vale defender on loan earlier this week, but has already told McDonald that a starting spot for Saturday's trip to Rotherham is not guaranteed following an impressive performance from his players in a 3-0 victory at Fleetwood last time out.


"I understand that 100 per cent," said McDonald. "If I was at a club where the team had won 3-0 and then someone new comes in, I'd be banging on the manager's door wanting to know why I'd been dropped."


McDonald, however, has been dropped at Port Vale in recent weeks following the arrival of Darren Purse and says he had no hesitation in agreeing to join Rovers, despite their perilous position at the bottom of the Football League.

"I haven't played in the last couple of weeks and I am the sort that wants to play regular first-team football," said McDonald. "Someone spoke to John Ward and when I found out he wanted me, I jumped at the chance.


"Bristol Rovers is a massive club and I just wanted to come and play football. When I spoke to John on the phone, he explained to me about where he wanted to take the club and I liked everything that he said.


"You get six or seven thousand fans in here so that is a great fan-base and I'm looking forward to my first game at the Memorial Stadium. The team has improved since John has come in so it's a case of onwards and upwards."


Liverpool-born McDonald started his career within the youth ranks of Manchester City – but admitted that he needed to move away from the club to carve out a career in the game for himself.


"It was good at Manchester City because you had the best of everything," he said. "The coaches are really good there and you train with some really big names.


"I used to train with Carlos Tevez, Robinho, Daniel Sturridge, Joe Hart, the list goes on, but I had to move away for the sake of my own career.


"Once the money comes in, clubs tend to steer away from looking at the youth team in favour of signing international superstars, who have already made their names in the game. I got a break when I went on loan at Walsall and I enjoyed that time so much I eventually joined them permanently.


"It is good to become a recognised first-team player and it was exactly what I needed at that time of my career."

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