Villa midfielder Callum O’Hare was on the bench for his parent club just three days prior to agreeing a half-season loan move up to Cumbria and manager Steven Pressley admitted this week that he was delighted to have captured the services of a player who has been tracked by a number of clubs this season.
“He’s another attacking midfield player and he’s one who is considered to be of high potential at Aston Villa,” the gaffer said. “I’ve managed to watch him a number of times and he’s always made a great impression on me.
“Although he’s a small player he’s dynamic and he has a real eye for goal. He’s another player who creates chances and I feel this is another excellent bit of business for us.
“When you field a team, the one thing you want as a head coach is that you can look at your team and think that you’re able to score goals from a number of positions. He helps us to have that ability.”
“He was on the bench for Aston Villa at the weekend, which shows how highly he’s thought of there, and we really appreciate that they trust us to help to develop one of their young players,” he added.
“Hopefully if we do it right it’s a relationship we can build with Villa. They’re a club which produces good young players and we’d be daft if we didn’t try to keep an eye on that, at the very least.”
Speaking more about how he got the move over the line, he told us: “I obviously know Dean Smith and I spoke to him personally about Callum.
“My son is at Villa as a scholar, so maybe that helps, but I do know quite a lot of the staff there and I suppose I also have history at Coventry and Falkirk of developing young players. That may have had some bearing on things.
“I’m just really pleased we’ve got the kid here because he’s an exciting talent. First loans are always the most difficult because you find sometimes that the players don’t perform at the level expected of them.
“It’s important that we nurture him correctly and that we don’t put too much expectation on this young player. But, if he fulfils the potential we think he has, then he’ll become a really good signing for us.”