BACK AT PLAINMOOR for a second loan spell, young Reading defender Angus MacDonald is set to go straight into Torquay United's squad for this weekend's trip to York City.
MacDonald (pictured right), 20, rejoins the Gulls until January 6, giving manager Martin Ling the cover he needs behind senior pros Brian Saah and Aaron Downes at centre-back.
Despite United's FA Cup First Round exit at the hands of Harrogate Town, a result which has tightened up the Plainmoor finances for a few months, the Gulls' board gave the go-ahead for Ling to sign MacDonald before last night's closure of the loan 'window'.
The former England Under-16 and Under-19 international, whose contract at Reading expires at the end of the season, made one start and two substitute appearances for United during a four-month loan spell here last season.
Ling said: "Angus coming in gives us four centre-halves between now and January.
"Aaron Downes is on four bookings and very likely will serve a suspension before the New Year.
"Kirtys McKenzie (19) has done nothing wrong, but if he plays and without Angus, I would have had no one else on the bench without playing other people out of position."
MacDonald spent the first two months of this season on loan at AFC Wimbledon, before Reading recalled him at the end of September.
United will seek to end a four-game winless run on Saturday, and they will have to do it without suspended captain Lee Mansell.
Mansell is banned for three games after being sent off in last weekend's 4-1 defeat by Southend, which ended United's unbeaten home league record.
He won't be back until the home game against Northampton Town on December 15.
"It may be that I needed a little break from football – since I've been here, we've had four play-offs, which is four eleven-month seasons," he said.
"Form-wise, I haven't been reaching the standards of last year over the last couple of weeks," said the Gulls' skipper who scored 13 goals from midfield last season.
"That can be down to a number of factors – we have new players in the team, and a lot of my goals from last year were created by Eunan (O'Kane).
"His departure has been a particularly big loss for me.
"I feel people are judging me at the moment on goals (one so far this season) and perhaps expecting me to get another 13 this season, but that's not going to happen.
"I'm hoping to refresh and get myself mentally right to go again.
"I may be out for three games, but there will be no lounging around."