Hamilton manager Brian Rice has given his thoughts on losing Middlesbrough defender Sam Stubbs and veteran midfielder Darian MacKinnon.

Stubbs was recalled by Boro who have since sent him to Eredivisie with ADO Den Haag whilst MacKinnon has headed to Partick Thistle on a deal until the end of the season.

MacKinnon is gone. (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Boro loanee was a big player in the first half of this season, playing 20 times. MacKinnon meanwhile has found his playing time limited this term but has made over 200 Accies appearances.

Speaking ahead of Hamilton’s Scottish Cup tie with Edinburgh City, Rice says it’s a big blow to lose Stubbs whilst he respects MacKinnon’s desire to go and play first-team football.

“I’ve lost Stubbs and Middlesbrough have put him back out on loan,” explained Rice. “You can look at it two ways. It’s a real blow, or you could say that’s what loans are all about.

Stubbs is in Holland now. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

“Getting someone up from England, making them a success. He was brilliant for us but we were brilliant for him as well. If  it wasn’t for his performances here, he probably wouldn’t be in Holland. It works both ways and I can maybe use that when trying to get others in.

“I think when you mention Hamilton Accies, the name Darian MacKinnon will pop up, and rightly so. He has been fantastic for this club.

“Nobody liked playing against him in the league. He’s at an age now though where he wants to be playing more regularly. I totally understand that, I’ve been there myself.

Leaves with Rice’s blessing. (photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

“Deep down he really wanted to be playing, he wanted to be playing here, but opportunities weren’t arising. So he’s made the decision to go to Partick Thistle and I wish him nothing but the best and I know he’ll be a success there.”

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