If a professional football player wants to feel good about himself then he really should stay clear of fans forums. Everyone is a critic and following recent sloppy displays the gloves have come off on some Celtic fans sites as the punters dissected the performances of the team and individual players and it seems that Scott McDonald may be lurking on a few of them . How has his season gone so far? "Not bad for somebody who can't run, can't pass, can't cross and can't trap," said Skippy, casting his eyes upwards.
"I take everything to heart." he said. "That's just me. I take a lot on myself. No-one will ever be harder on Scott McDonald than Scott McDonald. But it's also been a struggle at times since the new manager came into the club. We're trying to adapt to what he wants us to do and I'm not satisfied with myself. I don't think anyone has been satisfied with their performances so far. If you ask the manager he'll say he hasn't been satisfied with the way we've played in the majority of our games. There's a hunger in our dressing room to do better."
Last season Skippy ploughed a bit of a lone furrow up front as injuries and loss of form amongst his fellow strikers led to him being the only constant in the forward line. This season has already seen manager Mowbray try many different striking permutations and again McDonald is the unvarying factor in the line-up. "I had to get on with it last season when there were significant injuries to other people." he said. "It's just that I expect a lot of myself and always strive to do more. I don't think I'll change from now until the end of my career. I still won't be happy when I've retired."
The loss to the Huns two weeks ago cut Celtic's lead at the top of the SPL to one point and Skippy is still frustrated that he just didn't perform on the trip to the south side. "I never got into the game at Ibrox." he said. "I didn't do well when the ball came up to me if I'm being one hundred per cent honest. "To lose a game and not put your personal stamp on it is frustrating. That's why I can't wait to get out there against Motherwell and make sure we finish the day on top of the league."
Injury prevented McDonald joining up with the Australian team during the international break but he's fit and raring to go against former club Motherwell today, a club to whom he'll be eternally grateful. "If I hadn't been at Motherwell there would be no Scott McDonald at Celtic. That's for sure." he said. "I've been impressed by one or two of the young Motherwell players. I won't name names because I don't want to put additional pressure on them. They were only kids when I knew them at Fir Park but they've grown into men and are doing a fantastic job. I'm sure they'll be looking forward to creating an upset but we're at the top of the table and we haven't hit our stride yet.
One thing that McDonald and his team-mates will try to prevent today is losing an early goal, an all too regular occurence these days, but the Australian international doesn't think the defence should be singled out for criticism. "I see how hard these guys work every day in training and I respect them as players and people." he said. "There have been individual errors made but we haven't defended well as a collective unit. There's stuff to be cleaned up all over the park and that involves myself and others. It would be fantastic if everything came together against Motherwell but it would still only be one game and it's a long old season."