Leeds United defender Paudie O'Connor falling foul of loan rule at Bradford City

Leeds United defender Paudie O'Connor is once again struggling for game time after swapping Blackpool for fellow League One side Bradford City last month.

Monday, 11th February 2019, 10:16 am
Updated Monday, 11th February 2019, 10:22 am
Paudie O'Connor in action for Bradford City at Barnsley.

The 21-year-old joined the Seasiders on a season-long loan deal last summer in a bid to gain more first-team experience but made just 10 league appearances.

United director of football Victor Orta decided to recall the Irishman in January before loaning him out immediately to West Yorkshire neighbours Bradford.

O'Connor, though, has seen just an hour of game time since making the move to Valley Parade and failed to feature in the Bantams squad again on Saturday.

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City boss David Hopkin revealed that the defender was falling foul of an EFL rule which states a team may only include up to five loan players in a match day squad.

The 48-year-old, however, said O’Connor could now be handed a chance following a 1-0 defeat to Fleetwood Town on Saturday, telling the Telegraph and Argus: “It will be good to add another couple of bodies defensively and obviously I’ve got to look at young Paudie too.

“He missed out again (against Fleetwood) because of the ruling. But I’ve not ruled out bringing him back in and it might have to be one of the other loans who sit out.

“It’s a juggling act but fair play to Paudie. I spoke to him on Friday and he remains very positive.

“He wants to be here and wants to play. If I have to bring him in next week and somebody else has to miss out then that’s what I’ll do to make sure we start winning games.”

Hopkin also confirmed that City were in close contact with the Whites, who are monitoring the situation.

“Julian (Rhodes) spoke to Leeds last week and I’ve talked to them about the situation,” Hopkin said.

“I think everybody is happy. Paudie is quite receptive to how things are going here.

“I’ve told him that if he does get a chance in the team then he won’t be on the bench. He’ll be straight in again.”