Queen of the South manager Allan Johnston has admitted that losing Roby McCrorie is a “massive blow” after Rangers cut short the keeper’s loan spell in Dumfries to allow him to join Livingston until the end of the season.

McCrorie had been on loan at Palmerston until the end of the season but that was brought to a premature end after Livi offered the chance for the keeper to play Premiership football for the rest of the campaign.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 08: Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston during the Scottish Challenge Cup match between Boreham Wood and Dunfermline at Meadow Park on September 8, 2018 in Borehamwood, England.

(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Johnston hailed McCrorie’s “fantastic” performances for the Doonhamers and admitted that he “didn’t expect” to lose McCrorie midway through the season.

“Robby’s departure has been a bit of a shock to us as there was no indication that it was on the cards and everyone was happy with the arrangement”, the manager told his club’s official site.

“He has been fantastic for us since he arrived and Rangers were happy with the way he was progressing.

 

“We didn’t expect to lose him halfway through the season unless there was a crisis at Ibrox and he had to go back to play so to lose him now is a massive blow.”

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Livi are without Ryan Schofield through injury while Matija Sarkic was recalled by Aston Villa, leaving only Ross Stewart available for the West Lothian side before McCrorie’s arrival and the Gers loanee could make his debut tonight when they face St. Johnstone.

DOETINCHEM, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 11: Goalkeeper, Robby McCrorie of Scotland in action during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship group 4 qualifying match between Netherlands and Scotland at Stadion De Vijverberg on September 11, 2018 in Doetinchem, Netherlands. Rangers

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

McCrorie made 24 appearances for Queen of the South, helping them to a position just outside the Championship playoff places.

The chance to play top-flight football is a brilliant opportunity for McCrorie though and one Rangers simply couldn’t pass up for the youngster’s long-term development.

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