Determination, commitment and a ‘never say die’ attitude are three of the key ingredients Paul Warne looks for in a player before adding them to his squad, and it’s safe to say that Shaun MacDonald has had to display plenty of those characteristics since his arrival at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The midfielder has had to endure a long road to recovery following his injury woes, but at no point did he lose sight of his comeback, and he returned to first team action as a late substitute away to Peterborough United at the back end of January.
He then featured for the reserves against Doncaster Rovers a week later alongside other senior professionals, but despite the plan being to substitute him on the hour mark, he insisted that he wanted to continue, such the buzz he has for playing football.
"It has been a hard season for me on a personal level with being out for so long, but I'm the type of lad that will stick with it. I'm paid to be a professional footballer for Rotherham United and I'll keep working hard every single day,” MacDonald told www.themillers.co.uk.
"When things are out of control and you aren't available to play it’s frustrating, but I've got over that now and it's nice to be back amongst it all with the lads. The feeling of being back in training is great, and it's my aim to do my best on a daily basis so that I'm ready when an opportunity arises.
"The most difficult element when you're sidelined is coming in knowing that you can't even train and show what you're about. Going into the gym and doing your own bits whilst watching the lads train is tough, but you have to remain professional in order to get back fit.
"I've done that as best as I could, giving my maximum on the training pitch, in the gym and away from the place too, so now I'm back in full training I just need to be patient whilst the boys are flying in the league. If called upon, I'll be ready.”
With the Millers currently sitting top of what is a very tight division, the veteran midfielder knows that he and his teammates can’t afford to rest on their laurels ahead of Saturday’s clash with AFC Wimbledon.
You have to rewind to the opening day of the campaign to find the last meeting between the two sides, and although it proved to be a hard-fought victory for Rotherham on that occasion, MacDonald insists that the onus is to maintain the recent form.
"Any game that we go into in this league always gives you obstacles that you have to overcome and every team has their strengths and weaknesses, so it's up to us to suss out our opposition and do all of the work pre-match to help us prepare,” he added.
"We keep ticking the games off and getting positive results which is why we are where we are in the division, so it's just a case of keeping that up. Everyone knows that there's still a lot of football to be played, but we're doing well at the moment.
"With the way we're playing we don't fear anyone. We know our own strengths and we'll play to them again against another team who will be determined to get points on the board."