John Hughes insists allowing Kyle Macdonald to leave Dunfermline on loan was the correct decision — because the youngster was ‘hurting’ on the sidelines.
Macdonald, 22, has re-joined Airdrie until the end of the season and was handed an immediate debut in the Diamonds’ 2-2 draw against Clyde on Wednesday evening.
The right-back found first-team opportunities scarce following the arrival of manager Hughes, playing just nine minutes for the Pars since December 11.
And, although the switch raised a few eyebrows among the Pars faithful, Hughes is confident he has the depth to handle Macdonald’s temporary departure.
“In my first game against Inverness, Kyle was playing wide right,” explained Hughes.
“He did very well but after two or three games, the novelty wore off a little bit.
“Kyle is a right-back and needs to be facing the play.
“It’s the same as Craig Wighton [who joined Arbroath on loan] in terms of having a really great, fantastic attitude — but you could see it was hurting him that he wasn’t playing.
“We’ve got a number of players who can operate in that right-back role; Aaron [Comrie], Leon Jones, Lewis Martin. So, we just felt like it would be best for Kyle to go out and play football.
“It won’t do him any harm at all. He’ll get game-time and will be back with us next season.”
Dunfermline are eyeing a move for Watford midfielder Kamil Conteh, who featured in a bounce match against Falkirk on Tuesday afternoon.
The Pars are keen to add at least one more signing prior to the closure of the transfer window.
And Hughes acknowledges that is part of his thinking with Macdonald’s switch to New Broomfield.
“It does free up a little bit of cash if there is anyone else going about who we fancy, and believe could come straight into the first-team,” added Hughes.
“It gives us a little bit more breathing space.”
Dunfermline have added Coll Donaldson, Stevie Lawless and Joe Chalmers to their ranks this month.
Vytas Gaspuitis, Mark Connolly, Kai Kennedy have departed the club permanently, with Wighton already impressing at Gayfield.