PAUL Carden says he respects Jamie McDonald’s decision to leave Warrington Town but admits the news came as a surprise to him.

McDonald – Yellows’ top goalscorer last season – has elected to drop down two divisions to rejoin former club City of Liverpool, citing work commitments as his reasoning.

READ: More on Jamie McDonald’s departure from Warrington Town

His performances for Warrington last year made him the subject of interest from teams higher up the footballing pyramid, with Wigan Athletic and Salford City making their interest known.

Carden believes not getting a move to a higher-ranked team affected McDonald but says he understands why he has elected to leave Cantilever Park.

“It has come as a bit of a shock, to be honest. He explained his reasoning behind it and I respect it,” he said.

“I don’t think it was an easy decision for him, but I respect him. He’s a great lad.

“I think a lot of it is born out of frustration of the interest from Wigan and Salford last year.

“He turned down a move to Salford as he’d been spoken to by Wigan, but that all went quiet which was very disappointing.

“We’d more or less agreed everything, Jamie had spoken to Wigan and they told him to sit tight.

“It never happened and it clearly affected him. I don’t think he’s been the same since.

“He’s got one or two business ventures going on at the minute.

“His work commitments have increased, so playing for City of Liverpool gives him a little more flexibility as he doesn’t have to do as much travelling.”

In more positive news, Carden has added two more players to his squad in the shape of midfielder Robbie Evans and defender David Raven.

Evans enjoyed a successful spell at Wrexham and was awarded the club captaincy at the age of 21 before an ill-fated move to Billericay Town last year.

Carden described Evans as “an all-round midfielder” and hopes he can help to kickstart the 23-year-old’s career.

“I had a couple of messages from Wrexham lads who I’d played with, saying they had passed my number on to Robbie Evans,” he said.

“You can clearly see his quality in training as well as his professionalism and fitness. You can see why he was given the captaincy at Wrexham at such a young age.

“By his own admission, he made a bad decision to go to Billericay.

“There’s a lot of good players floating about which is why he found it tough to get fixed up higher up the league.

“He just wanted to come to a good club that can kickstart his career again.

“He’s an all-round midfielder who will add goals and energy. Even though he’s young at 23, he’s got a lot of experience.”

Raven started his career at Liverpool but has since had a lengthy career in the Football League and in the Scottish Leagues.

Carden says the 33-year-old will have “a calming influence” on the players around him

“He’s got a wealth of experience that will really help the young lads around him,” he said.

“He can play anywhere across the back line, which helps massively.

“He came on at half time in the Ashton game on Saturday and he was an instant calming influence in the defence.

“He reassures people and that’s what we’ve needed.

“When a centre-half of his experience becomes available, you’d be a fool to turn it down.”