Peter MacDonald speaks to Graham Barr

Peter MacDonald is currently in his second spell at Morton after re-joining the club in January, mid-way through the League One title winning season. MacDonald began playing first team football with St Johnstone in 2001 and he spent ten years with the club. During that time he mad over 200 appearances for the Saints.Despite a number of injuries, Peaso was highly thought of in Perth and his final goal for the club came in a Scottish Cup tie against Hearts in January 2011.

Peaso first signed for Morton in July 2011 and was a key player in the 2012/13 season when the Ton narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League. During that spell, the striker scored 30 goals for the club. However, at the end of that season, MacDonald left the club to join the recently-relegated Dundee.

MacDonald proved to be a key player for Dundee and scored a number of important goals as his team won the title in May 2014. In January 2015, Ton fans were shocked and delighted to hear the news that Peaso was rejoining the club on an 18-month deal. The deal also involved MacDonald taking up some coaching responsibilities at Morton.

Although MacDonald’s career had been plagued by injuries, he has defied the advice of doctors and continued playing at a high level well into his 30s. Since re-joining the Ton, Peaso has scored 9 goals in 33 appearances. In addition to his goals, the boost he brought to the team and fans last season cannot be underestimated and the experience he adds to what is a fairly young squad will also be crucial over the course of Morton’s first season back in the Championship.

The obvious place to start was to ask what it was that brought Peter back to Morton, he laughed, “Well nobody else wanted me! No but seriously I enjoyed my first time here and the gaffer got in touch with me while the team was challenging for the title. I didn’t really want to be fighting relegation like I was at Dundee in the Premier League. I came back to try and win a title.” On the decision to drop from the Premiership to League One, he said, “I think mentally it was tough but I’m older now, I’m 35 in November and you obviously try and play at the highest level you can. I did well at the start of the season with Dundee but then tore my cruciate and had a back problem which killed my season. Of course you’re disappointed but you’re only as good as the level you’re able to play at.” “I want to play as long as I can and when the opportunity to coach comes it will come but for now I’m a footballer.”

When asked if he was surprised to see Morton relegated the season after he left, MacDonald said, “The year I left I felt we had a good squad and I felt if we had added to that squad we could have pushed for promotion but it was a wee bit of a shock to see them get relegated. “When we played Morton at Dens it was a different style of Morton team; they were causing their own problems because they weren’t good enough to play it out from the back.”

Shortly after re-joining himself, he was reunited with the returning Michael Tidser. Peaso said, “Tidser is quality, we know each other well and we link up well. It was a wee bit disappointing that he couldn’t play straight away last year but he can play now so we can look forward to playing together this season. He’s just come back from a medial injury and I’m pretty sure he’ll be a big addition to the team this year.”

On the start to the season, MacDonald said, “The boys are very pleased with the start we’ve made. I think first and foremost we just had to compete and we’ve done so really well. We could have maybe nicked a few more points but it’s going to be one of those seasons where every team can beat each other apart from Rangers who are the top team and are going to win the league, I personally think, by 20 points. They’ve got the finances that the other teams don’t have so it’s not that surprising.”

“To keep the spine of the team has proved successful so far. We’ve also made some good additions like big Denny and wee Bobby. It’s looking good but it is early in the season and consistency is a big thing for us this year. If we can be consistent then we’ll finish in a good place.” “We want to compete and finish as high as we can. We won’t fear anybody and we’ll see where that takes us. Hopefully we can finish as high as we can. I think you can look at it about Christmas time and realistically see where you are.”

“I think my experience should be important. Obviously I’ve played the game at a high level and I’ve won leagues but it’s good to have youth round about you. I’m a bit of a moaner as the lads will tell you but I only moan because it’s the way I’ve been brought up; I want to win all the time and don’t want to get beat. If it’s not good enough I’ll have a wee moan. We’ve got a few bits of experience and hopefully that can stand us in good stead for the season.”

Finally, ahead of the game against Rangers, I asked Peter how much he was enjoying and looking forward to the big games this year. He said, “The St Mirren game was brilliant. I’m really looking forward to all those games against Hibs, Rangers and St Mirren, and we’ve got Motherwell in the cup obviously. “Going to Easter Road at the start of the year was brilliant, especially at my age to be able to go there and do well with the team. I loved every minute of it and the St Mirren game. In all honestly I love every minute of playing and as long as that continues I’ll be happy.” Today’s game against Rangers is sure to be one that Peaso will relish and be desperate to score a winning goal in!

This article originally appeared in the Morton v Rangers programme dated 28th September 2015