O’Hara: I’m desperate to get back on the pitch

Blackpool's Jamie O'Hara
Blackpool's Jamie O'Hara
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Blackpool new boy Jamie O’Hara wants to prove he’s still got what it takes after 18 months in football’s wilderness.

The 28-year-old signed a short-term deal at Bloomfield Road on Wednesday after being recommended to Lee Clark by QPR boss Harry Redknapp.

O’Hara burst on to scene with Spurs in 2008, becoming a regular under Juande Ramos.

After winning the club’s Young Player of the Year award and earning a three-year deal, he fell down the pecking order under Harry Redknapp the following season.

He moved to Portsmouth in 2010 – playing in the FA Cup final when Pompey were beaten by Chelsea and being named the club’s Player of the Year.

O’Hara, who hails from Kent, then joined Wolves for £5m but found himself out of favour after a host of injuries and two successive relegations.

And after being released from a five-year deal in the summer, O’Hara is desperate to get back to his old self.

“I’ve had a difficult period in my career and have been desperate to get back on the football pitch,” he said.

“I’m delighted this opportunity has come along, Lee Clark gave me a call a week ago and I jumped as the opportunity.

“The manager spoke to Harry Redknapp as I’ve been training at QPR for the past couple of months.

“I think Harry said to Lee that he should have a look at me.

“I’ve spoken to Lee a couple of times before when he was at Birmingham but nothing came of it.

“I’m really happy to be on board and hopefully I can help the team get some points together quickly.”

O’Hara is a high profile figure due to his marriage to model Danielle Lloyd and recent much publicised problems.

And the midfield man says his lack of joy on the field hasn’t helped.

He explained: “It’s been pretty depressing to be honest.

“Not playing football effects every part of your life and has caused all sorts of problems for me to be honest.

“I’ve been down in the dumps all the time, I just need to get back out there.

“It’s big for me to find a club which is willing to give me a chance.

“I just want to be happy again and I’m happy out on a football pitch.

“Once I feel part of a team and a squad my confidence will come back no problem.”

And he’s hoping the move to Blackpool will give him a new lease of life.

“A lot of people have written me off, massively,” he said.

“But I feel like I’ve got a lot to offer, I’m only 28 years of age. I have had a good career, just a bad 18 months.

“You don’t play in the Premier League if you’re a bad footballer, I know what I’m capable of.

“Hopefully I can get on the pitch and show what I’m about.”

O’Hara spent a brief spell training with Blackpool last season only for then boss Paul Ince to decide against a move due to the player’s lack of fitness.

But after spending time in America with a personal trainer, and the past two months at QPR, he’s convinced he’s ready for action at Blackpool.

“I’m ready to go straight in, I’ve been training every day with the first team at QPR for the last couple of months,” he said.

“I really enjoyed it there and I’m ready to go now.

“I’ll probably need a couple of games to get up to full speed but I’m ready to go.

“It’s a big opportunity for me.”