Kyle Macdonald admits the first he knew about John Hughes’ appointment as Dunfermline manager was when the colourful coach slapped him on the back of the head.
Hughes, 57, met his new charges prior to training last Friday and, by virtue of standing closest to the door, Macdonald was the first to be ‘introduced’ to the new gaffer.
“I didn’t know anything about him coming in so it was a bit of a surprise — especially when he slapped me on the back of the head as he walked in,” smiled Macdonald.
“I was standing with my back to the door and he slapped me over the head then kept walking on to the front of the room, laughing.
“I think it was just: whoever was first in the door was getting it — my head’s still throbbing!”
He joked: “A few of the boys said, ‘did you know about that?’ I said, ‘not a clue’. Meanwhile, my head’s bleeding while I’m training!”
As well as making his mark on Macdonald’s skull, Hughes’ impact was immediately felt on the training ground.
“The Friday session is normally a relaxed session but it was a lot more intense just because there was a new manager,” added Macdonald. “We all wanted to show that we are good players.
“Every time someone new comes in, it is a chance to impress; a chance to prove that you should be starting every week. Everyone has felt like that.”
A 2-1 victory against Inverness immediately followed — a maiden Championship win of the campaign — as Hughes’ half-time words of wisdom paid dividends.
“It was great to see the fans making such a noise,” said Macdonald, reflecting on the cathartic triumph. “My dad, Alex, was among them and nearly broke his ankle jumping up and down!
“He has been at every game — even when I wasn’t playing.
“He says, ‘I’m going to be there when you come on’.
“I have good support from him and the rest of my family.”
And there is every chance Alex will get to watch his lad in action when Dunfermline host Ayr United this afternoon.
Macdonald was superb in a right-midfield role in the Highlands, showcasing a tireless work ethic and direct delivery.
Those attributes perfectly complimented the dribbling ability and mercurial talents of Dom Thomas on the other flank.
“Hopefully, I can keep my place because it is not the best of times when you’re not playing,” continued Macdonald.
“That’s especially the case when your team is not doing so well — you feel like, ‘get me out there, I can help the team!’
“I was really happy to do that on Saturday.
“We have tricky wingers who like to take the ball and maybe I’m a wee bit different, with my defensive work.
“I do feel that I bring something to the team that we maybe don’t have.”