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Danny focused on helping Barrow AFC beat the drop

NEW recruit Danny O’Donnell is targeting a long and fruitful stay at Holker Street after buying into Dave Bayliss’s optimistic vision for the club.

NASTY KNOCK: Danny O’Donnell clashes with Danny Hurst Milton Haworth REF: 50044032B007

The 26-year-old centre-back, who is currently sidelined with a dislocated shoulder, resolved his on-off transfer saga from Stockport County by penning a 16-month deal last month.

Even if he wasn’t injured, O’Donnell was cup-tied for Tuesday’s 2-0 FA Trophy quarter-final defeat at Gainsborough, but he is determined to play a big part in helping his new club escape from the Blue Square Bet Premier relegation mire.

The big defender is embarking on the latest chapter of a largely successful career which began in the youth ranks of Premier League giants Liverpool before he gained valuable Football League experience with Crewe and, less notably, Shrewsbury Town.

But far from viewing his latest switch as a stepping stone back to the big time, the Scouser is only focused on boosting Barrow’s survival bid once he climbs off the treatment table – under the watchful eyes of Bluebirds boss Bayliss and his number two Ashley Hoskin.

With Barrow still languishing third-from-bottom in the Blue Square Bet Premier table, O’Donnell said: “You can’t go worrying about what’s going to happen too far down the line, you can only really concentrate on the short-term when you’re in this situation.

“But my short-term goals involve helping to ensure Barrow keep their Conference status – I feel that will be ‘job done’ if that happens.

“When I was looking for footballing opportunities and looking to leave Stockport, I wanted a club that was looking a little bit longer term.

“As a player you are focused on the short-term, but as a club you have to look at the long-term.

“The fact that the gaffer and Ash were looking to build a squad based on league safety and extending my contract to 16 months, then in my eyes, they’ve got that foresight that we’re going to stay up, everything is going to be okay and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

O’Donnell is also determined to revive his stuttering season having endured a frustrating time at Edgeley Park during the first half of the campaign while playing under recently-sacked Stockport boss Jim Gannon.

A frustrating mix of being struck down by injury and falling down the pecking order limited O’Donnell to just 10 league appearances before the turn of the year.

“I’d had a couple of niggly injuries including a bit of tendonitis in my heel which kept me out for a couple of games in that period (around September),” he said.

“That’s why I originally didn’t play and when I returned the manager decided he would give a different (central defensive) partnership a try.

“It’s not for me to say whether that worked out for the best or not, but I felt my opportunities at Stockport were limited and that I did enough to deserve a starting place in the team.

“When it became apparent I wasn’t going to get that after I felt I had earned the right, any player will tell you they need to play football.

“I spoke to Bayles and Ash and they were very keen to take me and for me to come and play here, and that’s exactly what I want to do.

“But there are no sour grapes. I wish Stockport all the best because it’s a fantastic club and I enjoyed my time there – I wish them all the best in the future.”

However, O’Donnell suffered yet more frustration during his Bluebirds debut as he was forced to withdraw in the 40th minute of Saturday’s 1-0 home success over Luton Town.

“Frustrating isn’t the word, although words can’t describe how gutted I was to get injured,” explained O’Donnell who was replaced by fellow centre-back Sean Hussey at the weekend.

“The fact that we managed to see the game through and take the three points made the situation a little bit sweeter.

“But all I wanted to do was to get back playing and I thought we did well and looked solid for the first 40 minutes.

“It’s just one of those things, but well done to Hess because he came in and did fantastically well in the second half.

“We don’t need anything special, we just need to gel together a little bit.”

Have your say

35 years and I am all done in now. I have backed the team through thick and thin. But I am not sure how I can keep this positivenes up. My work mates think I'm stupid. Maybe I will give it up too. How on earth can the club go on about poor gates when this happens for the second time against the same team? I feel empty today and cannot see any hope without change.

Posted by George on 11 February 2013 at 09:01

8-1 I am finshed with this pathetic time

Posted by adrian harrison on 9 February 2013 at 23:05

View all 3 comments on this article

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