Two clean sheets from three league games so far suggests that there’s a bit of steel around the Blues in these early stages of the season, and playing his part is defender Rod McDonald, who was once again voted as man of the match by the fans on Tuesday night.
The no-nonsense central defender picked up the affectionate nickname ‘Concrete Rod’ as he did his duties at Northampton, Coventry and Wimbledon, but United boss Chris Beech has a slightly different take on that, with an example having been set by the centre half from day one of pre-season.
“Maybe his nickname should now be ‘Breeze Block Rod’ because that’s a bit lighter than a concrete block,” he joked. “He’s lost a bit of weight and he’s a bit more mobile.
“He’s a good player, always has been, he had some great games last season, and he’s hungry for success, as is everybody.
“It’s important they hold onto that and I’m really proud of him again tonight.”
“All of the lads dug in, and with just a little bit more luck it could have been a completely different story, but it wasn’t,” he added. “It was a different set of challenges and I’m really pleased with them for how they went about their jobs.
“I think their good chances were restricted to an overhead kick and a pearler that was similar to the one George struck from David Amoo.
“Magnus [Norman] did well with that because he saw it late. It was lower than George’s, it had a bit of wazz, moved left to right, and he did brilliantly by keeping his body behind it. Sometimes you deserve a bit of luck because you’ve done your job well.”
“It’s all about getting ready to go up against a great team and a great manager,” he concluded. “Kenny Jackett is someone I respect and look up to in terms of from afar, because he’s done well at big clubs at good levels.
“He’s experienced and he knows how to get his teams right at it. We’ll have to make sure we’re good and our game, and it’s one we can look forward to.”