Rangers recall loan player as Dunfermline boss confirms Lewis Martin deal

Dunfermline manager John Hughes revealed that Kai Kennedy has been recalled by Rangers as he confirmed that Lewis Martin has signed a new deal to stay at Dunfermline until the end of the season.

Dunfermline manager John Hughes shakes hands with Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn after the 0-0 draw at Stark's Park.  (Photo by Alan Rennie / SNS Group)
Dunfermline manager John Hughes shakes hands with Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn after the 0-0 draw at Stark's Park. (Photo by Alan Rennie / SNS Group)

Kennedy missed the 0-0 draw against Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park and Hughes admitted afterwards he has played his last game for the Pars after the Ibrox side cut short his season-long loan deal.

"I don't think we'll see him again," he said. "I think Rangers have done a recall and he'll be going back to them.”

Kennedy made 15 appearances for the Pars, scoring one goal, and is under contract at Rangers until 2023.

Hughes added: "It would have been nice if he was here tonight. I'm not saying he would have started but if he got a shot at it, he might've just given us a nice going away present."

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Hughes revealed that club captain Graham Dorrans also missed out due to being “pinged” as a covid close contact, but added: "He's not got covid. He's just a close contact. He will 100 per cent be back for the next game. The next two days actually."

The Pars boss also confirmed the new short-term deal for Martin, who appeared on the bench for Dunfermline as he seeks to prove his fitness after almost two years sidelined by injury.

"He's still a wee bit short in terms of still needing a few games," Hughes said. "But he's acquitted himself very well. He's got himself in not bad shape but he's still got a bit to go. We've given him a deal until the end of the season - all incentive based. It's up to him to show me what he's got.

"I actually feel for him. We were going to do the contract, but we have to be very careful in terms of the medical side. Lewis can play right-back, left-back, centre-half, sitting midfield - that spins my plates so that was a massive part of it."

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Hughes handed a debut to Steven Lawless in the Fife derby, and was pleased the winger managed to complete the 90 minutes in his first taste of action since leaving Motherwell in October.

"That was my worry. We were constantly shouting on the bench, 'how are you?' He played in a number of positions because we tweaked it a bit to get [Kevin] O'Hara on. He did very, very well for someone who hasn't played a lot of football over the last three or four months."

Hughes was back at Stark's Park for the first time since guiding Raith to relegation during an ill-fated stint in charge of the Kirkcaldy side in 2017.

He was booed by the 500 Raith fans in attendance as he walked to the away dugout, and he admitted his side missed the presence of the travelling Dunfermline fans.

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"Murder - football is not football without fans," he said. "It was an eerie game, like a training game at times. We need our supporters back. But I'm really proud of my boys. We're playing against a right good Rovers team. They will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season and I felt we had the better chacnes to win the match."

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