Why O’Hara didn’t fit bill

Jamie O'Hara
Jamie O'Hara
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Paul Ince decided not to sign Jamie O’Hara ahead of last night’s loan deadline – but the Blackpool boss hinted at a January move for the Wolves midfielder.

Blackpool were unsure about the 27-year-old’s fitness after watching him in three training sessions at Squires Gate this week.

The Gazette understands Ince was concerned that O’Hara wouldn’t be ready to play for at least another two weeks, and the Pool boss wanted a deal with Wolves which reflected that.

However, the League One leaders wanted Pool to make a set contribution to O’Hara’s wages, regardless of his fitness or participation in matches.

And with the Midlands club unwilling to budge on terms, Ince decided the time just wasn’t right.

“He’s probably not fit enough yet. We might go back in for him in January,” said Ince.

“He needs another couple of weeks fitness (work) and that’s the problem we had.

“He’s still a good player. Technically, he’s absolutely fantastic but he’s still short on fitness and that’s understandable.

“I didn’t think I would be able to throw him straight in, and with the loan only being for four weeks we had to decide to leave it.

“If the window closed next week, then we’d probably have done a deal but I’m not rushing into anything.

“He’s been great. He seems a fantastic lad with the desire to do well and prove people wrong.

“Blackpool has always been built on players coming here to prove people wrong. He’s one of those.”

O’Hara has had a tough couple of years at Wolves since his £5m move from Tottenham Hotspur.

After problems with the fans at Molineux, he is determined to get his career back on track.

And there’s no doubt Ince was impressed with the player in training. He added: “Jamie played in the Premier League four years ago for Tottenham, so he’s a fantastic talent.

“For some reason or other he’s not been involved at Wolves. The problem we had is the loan window gave us no time. To make a decisions on three days training was always going to be hard.”

It turned out to be a quiet loan deadline day at Bloomfield Road, with no players coming in or going out.

Pool’s enquiries about Graham Dorrans were knocked back, the midfielder choosing to stay at West Brom, while Ince turned down approaches for a number of his fringe players from lower league clubs.

Pool go into tomorrow’s home game against Sheffield Wednesday with virtually the same squad that drew at Birmingham last weekend.

Skipper Barry Ferguson is back in full training and could be included, but it’s more likely he will be rested until the trip to Yeovil on Tuesday.

Bradley Orr (thigh), Craig Cathcart (knee), Bob Harris (shoulder), Jack Robinson (suspension) and Mark Halstead (thigh) remain on the injured list.