Preston North End boss Alex Neil says the plan is for teenage striker Connor Simpson to head back out on loan once the Lilywhites are through the worst of their injury crisis.
The promising front man was recalled from Hyde United on Christmas Eve having scored seven goals in 16 appearances for the NPL Premier Division side.
But with Neil’s squad down to the bare bones in the final third the 18-year-old was on the bench for the Boxing Day defeat to Hull and will likely be there again when Aston Villa visit Deepdale on Saturday.
“Connor was doing well at Hyde and ideally he would have stayed there and played the season,” said Neil.
“They want him back on loan because he’s done so well there. The difficulty we’ve got is that it’s needs must. He’s not quite ready at the moment, he’s only a young kid.
“He’s not played a lot of games and that’s why we put him out on loan - he needs to play matches to get up to speed and show what he’s capable of.
“He’ll probably go back out on loan once we replenish numbers so he can continue his development.”
Neil elected not to throw teenager on late on in the 2-1 reverse against the Tigers, both Simpson and fellow youngster Ethan Walker staying on the bench.
Instead after Jordan Storey and Ryan Ledson had been introduced earlier in the piece, the PNE boss’ final change saw Darnell Fisher replace Tom Clarke at right back.
“To be fair to Connor, he’s not really been training with us and I only recalled him on Christmas Eve,” said Neil.
“I think it would have been unfair with no training days to just chuck him up front.
“You’re doing that more in hope than anything else.
“I don’t think that would have been the right decision.”