Doncaster Rovers: My nightmare year at Blackpool - Gary MacKenzie

Gary MacKenzie (left) joined Rovers on a two-year deal last week.
Gary MacKenzie (left) joined Rovers on a two-year deal last week.

Rovers new boy Gary MacKenzie has spoken about his injury nightmare at Blackpool and relief at finding a positive environment to get his career back on track.

The 29-year-old Scot became Doncaster’s third signing of the summer last week following his release from the troubled Tangerines.

MacKenzie was forced to watch Blackpool slide out of the Championship last season before ending the campaign on loan at Bradford City.

And it will go down as an instantly forgettable year for the former Dundee and MK Dons defender, who says Paul Dickov sold him on the positive culture at Rovers.

“I aggravated my Achilles at the end of the season before last and missed the last four games,” recalled MacKenzie.

“I thought it would settle down and when I tried to do pre-season I lasted three days and it tore.

“I got messed about a bit. I went to see different specialists and they said there wasn’t any tear there and it was basically a bit of inflammation which I could let settle down for a few weeks and then run it off.

“I followed those guidelines for about a month to six weeks and then realised I needed a second opinion so I went down to London and the guy told me I had a pretty bad tear. So I’d spent about seven weeks doing all the wrong things for the injury I had.

“In a way I was glad I’d finally found what was up with me and could then get myself on the road to recovery but that, coinciding with the season that Blackpool had last year, watching them lose the majority of time and the atmosphere about the place meant it wasn’t nice at all.

“I just got my head down and followed the rehabilitation programme and thankfully it repaired well.

“When I got myself fit again it was a surprise to me that I wasn’t going to be needed at Blackpool and that I could go out and get some matches elsewhere.

“I could have gone to a number of places but Bradford were doing well and it was quite an attractive move for me just to get some games and start enjoying my football again in a good environment.

“I was glad to just get out of Blackpool and that negative environment. You need to be happy and the gaffer here has sold me on the environment about the place. That’s something as a player you thrive on.

“It’s all right playing at a higher level but if the settings around you aren’t right you’re not going to prosper.”