ON-LOAN Owen Moffat is "getting better all the time" with his manager hailing his efforts to continuously provide a creative spark in the final third.

The 21-year-old, who arrived on a deal from Blackpool until the end of the season, was handed his first start for Dunfermline during Saturday's SPFL Trust Trophy defeat at Dundee United.

Former Celtic attacker Moffat, who came through the Hoops' youth set-up, was substituted after an hour at Tannadice, having featured for 30 minutes as a substitute at Inverness Caledonian Thistle the previous week.

Moffat was taken off after he went down having taken a shot at goal from range in an attempt to find a consolation goal in Athletic's 3-0 defeat, but McPake said it was just precautionary due to cramp.

"That was his first start in a while," McPake said. "The thing I like about Owen is he tries things in the game and, even when it's not coming off, he'll still try and always play forward. He'll still try and create.

"To get an hour out of him, I was delighted with that. Again, if the squad had been bigger, it maybe wouldn't have had to go as long but, as soon as we saw him cramping up, we certainly weren't going to take any chances.

"That's normal. A hot day, he's not played in a while, so it was good to get an hour into him as well. He's getting better all the time."

After concluding the deal to bring Moffat to KDM Group East End Park, McPake said that he "certainly fits that bill" when asked if we would provide more creativity in the final third, observing that "just over a year-and-a-half ago, or whenever that was (December 2021), he was coming on in a (League) cup final, a tight cup final, for Celtic against Hibs, so it shows what they thought of him in there".

When asked if there's a lot more to come from him, McPake replied: "It's more about the personality.

"I know a lot of people that know him. Darren O'Dea (Celtic 'B' team coach) spoke very highly of him as well. That was last summer but, just talking about ages, Joe Chalmers has been one of the best, if not the best, to coach and work with in our time at Dunfermline, and he's one of the older ones.

"I think if they're receptive enough, and they're enjoying the environment, then they're always willing to learn and keep going. Owen does fit that bill where he's young, and he wants to go on and have a career in the game.

"It's a bit different to Joe at the age we got him, but Joe's still very open to ideas.

"Personality-wise and character-wise, he fits the bill, and he'll come in and help the team."