'I was angry' - Ex-Hearts starlet Anthony McDonald on Craig Levein loan decision and praise for Daniel Stendel

Former Hearts starlet Anthony McDonald admitted he was “angry” at Craig Levein’s decision to loan him to Dunfermline Athletic last season.

By Joel Sked
Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 4:45 pm
Anthony Mcdonald is in Spain after leaving Hearts. Picture: SNS
Anthony Mcdonald is in Spain after leaving Hearts. Picture: SNS

The 19-year-old left Tynecastle this past summer to join Spanish side Cordoba in a “fresh start” after a difficult final season in Gorgie.

McDonald thought he was primed to be a part of the first-team last campaign after impressing in the Betfred Cup, including netting his only goal for the club in a win over Cowdenbeath.

However, Levein, who recognised the creative talents of the midfielder felt he needed to improve on his “defensive duties”, opted to lend him to the Pars.

“I scored in the League Cup and I was doing well,” McDonald told the Scots Abroad podcast. “I was angry he wanted me out on loan.

"I was ready to play. I was scoring nigh on every game for the reserves, playing well, I had a run of games. That was probably the best I’ve felt in the past few years playing football because I was training at a good level, I was performing well.

"Obviously I picked up the injury before I went to Dunfermline but I was really disappointed when he said to me I was going out on loan.

"I’m young and you can say it was greedy but I don’t think it was greedy, I thought I was ready to play, ready to compete for a place in the team. I’m not saying that I was wanting to start every week but I think I was ready to compete for a place in the team.”

McDonald, who is yet to play for his new side due to a back injury, played just twice for Dunfermline before being recalled by Daniel Stendel.

Despite just two sub appearances under the German, the player took a liking to the former Tynecastle boss.

With Stendel everything was a hundred miles an hour,” McDonald said. “Everything was pressure, running, pressure, pressure. If you can get it right, unreal.

"Maybe the language barrier, it was sometimes a little bit difficult for him to get his points across but you could tell he was a very, very good coach.

“I liked him. He spoke to me fairly regularly, said to me what he wanted from me. He was very good, mad but good.”

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