Kyle Turner admits he is ‘disappointed’ by the manner of his Dunfermline departure — but intends to assuage that frustration by firing Airdrie into the Championship.
The case of Turner, on loan at the Diamonds from the Pars, is a curious one.
The 23-year-old was named player of the month in the second tier as recently as November 2020 and won widespread plaudits for a series of all-action, tough-tackling displays in the heart of midfield.
However, a breakdown in contract talks coincided with him dropping out of the Dunfermline side (albeit that was never stated as the reason) and Turner’s last start came on January 23 — close to three months before he ultimately left for New Broomfield.
“I was disappointed with the way things ended [at Dunfermline] because, as far as I was concerned, that’s not the way I wanted them to end,” said Turner. “But it was out-with my control.
“I gave everything I had for Dunfermline Athletic — whether in training or out on the pitch — until the moment I went out to Airdrie. But it just wasn’t to be.
⚽️ #TOTW CM
👤 Kyle Turner
🗣️ "His arrival off the bench sparked Dunfermline into life as they came back from 2-0 down to defeat Clyde"
— SPFL (@spfl) November 17, 2020
“After a certain period, I wasn’t playing games at Dunfermline and that’s not what any player wants. I just wanted to get out and play games.”
Barring the mother of all U-turns from all parties, Turner will officially leave East End Park next month in search of pastures new and is unlikely to be short of suitors give his excellent showings for in-form Airdrie.
“I’ve tried not to think too much about myself, given we’ve got two massive games coming up with Airdrie, but it is a good chance to show what I can do,” added Turner.
“If I perform well, the team performs well and we reach the Championship then everyone wins.
“The chance to help Airdrie kick on was a good one and hopefully I’ve done my part during this loan. But that will count for nothing if we don’t produce in the next two games.”
Turner is confident they can do just that. There is no sense of arrogance, but a healthy cognisance of their own momentum.
While onlookers were discussing the relative title challenges of Partick Thistle, Falkirk and Cove Rangers, Ian Murray’s men were quietly piecing together a run of seven wins in their final nine regular season League 1 fixtures.
Indeed, they finished just two points adrift of champions, Partick Thistle. Airdrie flew high but stayed under the radar, it seems.
“We’ve gone about about our business quietly and no-one has really spoken about us,” added Turner. “We only finished two points behind Partick Thistle and the boys have been producing in every game.
“There was so much talk about Falkirk for a long time, then when they fell away the talk was all about Cove Rangers because they had been up there from the start — but all the while, we were climbing from seventh in the table to finishing second.
“We’ve lost once in 12 games — and that was against Partick — so we absolutely believe we have momentum. It’s winner takes all now.
🖊️ | Motherwell goalkeeper Scott Fox has agreed to join the club on an emergency loan for both legs of the Championship play-off final, manager Gus MacPherson has confirmed: https://t.co/SERqMQKAkh pic.twitter.com/GwxprflrRr
— Greenock Morton (@Morton_FC) May 17, 2021
“I know how tough it will be against Championship opposition but it’s a chance for the boys to stand up and prove we are good enough.”
And Turner is adamant they can do that without the suffocating stress that will be on Morton, who are desperately fighting for their Championship lives, starting with the first leg at the Penny Cars Stadium on Tuesday night.
He added: “The pressure is all on Airdrie. They are the favourites to win the game over two legs and we are just looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity that all the boys have.”