Goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald has 'no regrets or worries about being back'

Shaun MacDonald, Goalkeeper of Torquay United during the National League match between Torquay Unite

Shaun MacDonald back as Torquay United's goalkeeper for the match between Torquay United and Southend United at Plainmoor on Saturday - Credit: Dave Crawford/PPAUK

Goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald says he has 'no regrets' about leaving Torquay United in the summer - or his dramatic return to help the Gulls to a desperately needed 'clean sheet' victory over Southend United at the weekend.

United had conceded 16 goals in six games, were in danger of losing the first four home league matches for the first time in their history, had number one keeper Mark Halstead concussed and number two Marcin Brzozowski with only four senior appearances to his name.

MacDonald, 24, had turned down a new deal after three years at Plainmoor, ending last season as reserve to the also-departed Lucas Covolan.

But he was still a free agent when manager Gary Johnson called him the morning after last midweek's 2-1 defeat at Solihull Moors.

Terms were completed - United have not disclosed the length of his new contract - in time for him to play in the 1-0 win over Southend, his 77th appearance for the Gulls.

"I made the decision I did in the summer. Clearly it didn't go how I hoped, but I have no regrets or worries about being back," said the popular Geordie, who trained with Dundee, Hartlepool United and Gateshead during the close-season.

"For 99 per cent of my time here, I've loved it. I'm very good friends with a lot of the lads still, and I'm not going to take time to settle in.

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"Hopefully, we can create more positive memories from now on."

The MacDonald decision was one of the biggest of Johnson's three years at Plainmoor.

"I've never been frightened about making those decisions, and it's important that I make them. We needed someone straight away," he said.

"I think Mark took a bit of unfair criticism for the goals we'd conceded.

"He had concussion anyway - you never know how long those cases might run - and I always felt that Marcin would need a good season to work with us."

United's game at unbeaten leaders Chesterfield this Saturday (5.20pm) is live on BT Sport. For match reports, more stories etc, go to www.torbayweekly.co.uk