DUNFERMLINE boss James McPake has confirmed that the club WERE interested in bringing former captain Euan Murray back to the club.

He also revealed that the centre back was keen on a return to KDM Group East End Park, and that the club were confident of landing him, but a deadline day deal with Hartlepool United couldn't be reached.

The Pars were the only club in League One that failed to add to their squad before Tuesday's transfer deadline, although they are able to recruit loan players for the duration of February.

READ MORE: 'I don't think it's a bad thing': Boss upbeat on having extra recruitment month

Speculation linked McPake with a move for Murray, who made 44 appearances for the club after arriving from Raith Rovers in the summer of 2019, before leaving for Kilmarnock two years later, while Falkirk, whose boss, John McGlynn, the 29-year-old worked under at Stark's Park, was also credited with interest.

McPake also said that there was another player, which he did not name, that he felt would have been a "quality" signing, but assured supporters the club are continuing to look to strengthen.

"None today or yesterday, no. No update. It didn't happen and we did work hard on a couple there," the manager told the media earlier today (Thursday).

"Euan Murray was the one that was reported; that was true. The player was desperate to come, he was keen to come. We were looking to get a deal done - I think it's the third time I've tried to sign him now. We never got it over the line. That's what happens when the parent club are holding on and holding on and it just never got done unfortunately."

When asked if his current club, who he joined in the summer, wanted to let him go, McPake replied: "We don't know.

"The offer went in and we thought it would be accepted. We worked as hard as we could on it.

"They've got a squad as well where it seemed they were trying to get somebody in, and they got somebody late on. I don't know if that was the one they needed.

"He is a good player. He had a good spell here before. I had tried to take him to Dundee twice as well. It was disappointing, but, maybe fourth time lucky, who knows.

"We've seen with Sam Fisher going back to Dundee, he played really well last weekend as well, you've got loan players, or you are trying to bring players in regardless if it is a loan or a permanent, you're always in a fight - either with other clubs or the parent club.

"That's what happened with a couple at the last minute - not at the last minute, because we'd been working on them - but you always find that it goes to the last day then everything heats up.

"It's unfortunate because I don't like it. I can be honest in saying that. I would like to get business done [early]; as would the player, as would probably everybody.

"There is this excitement that goes around deadline day - but I've not had an exciting one yet!"

When asked if he had a message for supporters who were disappointed at the lack of new arrivals, McPake continued: "We've got the full of February to work as well, and we'll continue to do that.

"Does it guarantee we'll get ones over the door? No. On the flipside, we could have brought three or four in that we could have then said 'we've brought bodies in'. How much would it have strengthened the positions in the squad, I'm not too sure.

"We'll continue to keep working, it's certainly not through - I wouldn't sit and lie - it's not been through the lack of trying. The two that were the closest would have been really - Euan being one of them, I'll not mention the other one - those two would have been real quality signings for us. Not just for this league, but wherever they go going forward.

"I feel their frustrations. Everybody at the club is frustrated as well because, when you've got targets you want to do, when you lose a player of Sam's quality, you want to get him back or you want to get another one in, but it's just not as easy as that.

"It's hard to go out and find someone to replace Sam Fisher. In my opinion, he's been excellent and someone that I've known for five years probably, so I know his character as well as any other manager or coach out there. I had him since I was 16. So I wasn't surprised to see him in the Dundee team at the weekend and it doesn't surprise me that he did well.

"They'll [the fans] be as frustrated with me when I say this but we weren't just going to sign someone for the sake of singing someone - but we may as well be honest about it.

"We did try and obviously Euan would have been a good one, we know that. In fact, the player wanted to come, we were desperate to do it and it looked like it was going to happen.

"That one obviously can't happen now but there are certainly other ones ongoing."