MacDonald insists that incoming boss Remi Garde is inheriting a group of players with a great desire to work.
Villa lost 3-1 at Tottenham on Monday and remain bottom of the Premier League table.
“If you look at the game as a whole, for the new manager, the shift that the players put in over the course of the 90 minutes – he’s got something to work with,” said MacDonald.
“They’ve got a great desire to work, work, and work. They need to utilise their knowledge a little bit better, they need to take care of the ball a bit better.
“Obviously Remi with his experience of having played with Arsenal and with the work he’s done at Lyon, I’m sure he’ll be reiterating that as well.”