MacDonald unsure on Villa hotseat
Aston Villa caretaker Kevin MacDonald is refusing to consider the prospect of getting the job permanently ahead of Sunday's trip to Newcastle. Having stepped in when Martin O'Neill resigned just five days before the start of the season, former Liverpool midfielder MacDonald has certainly done his chances of keeping the job no harm at all. Villa face Newcastle at St James' Park on the back of a thumping 3-0 opening day win against West Ham and an impressive 1-1 draw against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League play-off. Villa's American owner, Randy Lerner, is still weighing up his options over O'Neill's successor and MacDonald said: "If the results continue to be going reasonably well and Mr Lerner said that he wanted me to be considered alongside other people I would then push myself into the thought process of taking the job. "But is it that what I want to do and can I cope with it? At the present time Mr Lerner has said just keep doing the job. He realises just how much work is involved because of the lack of staff." MacDonald is well aware that being a Premier League manager is one of the most high-profile jobs in sport and succeeding O'Neill could be a tough act to follow. Villa finished sixth last season, reached the final of the Carling Cup and the semi-final of the FA Cup. MacDonald, who is set to hand Stephen Ireland a debut after his arrival from Manchester City, admitted: "From my point of view I have been concentrating so much on what has been going on that I've not had the opportunity to think whether I want this kind of job. "I'm very wary that being a Premiership manager your life doesn't become your own. You are in the public eye with every decision you make. "That, along with all the other things, makes me wonder whether I want it 24 hours a day, seven days a week for however long it may be. "I don't feel the pressure to take the job. I've spoken to my dad and told him I will know whether I want to the job or to be considered along with others. "There should be a lot of top class applicants for the job as it is an exciting job to take over at a big football club. "There is no hiding place in the Premier League and there is more pressure on us this season than last season. "We have to deal with that pressure and show we have the mentality and toughness to handle that situation. "No one wants to be a failure and I know it is not going to be all roses in the garden whether you are a caretaker manager or a manager. You have got to understand the good and bad bits of the job." But MacDonald need look no further than his Newcastle counterpart, Chris Hughton, to see what can happen when an internal candidate is promoted to take charge of the team. MacDonald said: "Chris Hughton has been outstanding since he took over. "He got the opportunity at Newcastle and had a fantastic season taking the club to promotion. I just hope that he doesn't have one of his best games on Sunday." While the stakes are potentially high for MacDonald, Ireland is just looking forward to the chance to get his career moving forward again. He was named Player Of The Year at City for the 2008-2009 campaign when he scored 13 goals. Last season he was on target just three times as he struggled to figure in the plans of Roberto Mancini. "So far as I know I will play in some stage of the game and I am looking forward to getting back into the game and getting the adrenaline going again," admitted Ireland. "I'm still young. Hopefully, Villa will get the best of me and I am now looking forward to the season." MacDonald, who coached Ireland when he was part of the Republic of Ireland's management team, thinks that Ireland will be a perfect fit in the Villa midfield. He said: "When you balance up the way that Stephen plays and have him playing alongside Ashley Young, Stewart Downing, Stiliyan Petrov and Marc Albrighton, all people who like to play that way, then hopefully he will show all his confidence."
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