Sam Wedgbury says he’s ready to step up to the plate and take on a more prominent role as the Silkmen bid to climb back into the Football League.
The midfielder – a terrace favourite due to his heart-on-sleeve honesty and commitment – has started just six games under Steve King this season, but is determined to get more game time in order to reach his aim of a hunrder outings in a Macc shirt.
Arnaud Mendy and Kieran Murtagh have enjoyed the lion’s share of game time in the centre of midfield so far but Mendy’s move to Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Luton Town has opened the door for Wedgbury, who spent much of pre-season at right-back, to stake a claim.
"It’s sad to see Arnaud go, he’s done well for us this season and played a lot of games, so I’ve got to step up to the plate a little bit," said the 23-year-old after Macc beat Marine to earn a place in the first round of the FA Cup.
"I’m out of contract at the end of the year and I want to try to earn a new deal here if I can.
"I want to get to 100 appearances for the club, that’s one of my main aims so I want to get to that milestone.
"I’ll have to perform a bit better than I did today though! It wasn’t one of my better games but from the team’s point of view I think we’ve played a lot better and lost.
"It’s one of those days where it was their cup final. They came right at us and our quality wasn’t good enough at times but we got the win so that’s the main thing.
"We’re through to the next round so that’s most positive thing to look at."
Macc may have been expected to bypass the Mariners, a side two divisions below them, but Wedgbury admits they were given a few nervous moments in a physical afternoon at the Moss Rose.
"They [Marine] put in a workmanlike performance," he conceded. "We knew they’d be strong and physical and they matched us in all departments, except probably on the ball because we should have that little bit more quality.
"But we got the win and that’s the main thing. It wasn’t the most flattering of performances but we will play worse and win games."
And, ahead of Sunday’s draw that pitted Macc against Paolo Di Canio’s Swindon, the former Sheffield United man said he was happy to pit his wits against any higher-league opponents, including the Blades.
"We’ll take on anyone in League One and hopefully we can have a good cup run," he declared. "We’re playing better teams in the next round so we’ll up our game a little bit, like it was for Marine in this round.
"It was good to get the win and hopefully it will kick us on for the next game at Grimsby and up the confidence.
"We’ve not been far off in the league, we’ve been playing some nice stuff but probably not been quite clinical enough in front of goal and we’ve conceded some sloppy goals so we’ve got to keep kicking on.
"I do think we’ll be up there at the end of the season if we can convert our chances and keep more clean sheets.
"We’re still in a good position and our aim is the play-offs, that’s the minimum for this season. We can achieve that with the squad we’ve got – we’ll come good, definitely."