McInnes: O’Hara interest no gimmick

Former Pompey player Jamie O'Hara
Former Pompey player Jamie O'Hara

Iain McInnes has insisted the attempt to reunite Jamie O’Hara with Pompey was no ‘gimmick’.

The Blues yesterday held talks with the former Fratton favourite to bring him back from Wolves on loan until the season’s end.

O’Hara was a big favourite among fans during the 2009-10 campaign while on loan from Spurs, sweeping the board in the player-of-the-year stakes.

Yet he has long been out of favour at current club Wolves and now features only for their under-21 side as an overage player.

Pompey were prepared to push the boat out and increase their finances to capture the 27-year-old midfielder.

But the move failed to come to fruition and instead Danny Hollands was the sole new arrival on emergency loan window deadline day.

The Pompey chairman said: ‘We decided on Wednesday night that one of the things we wanted to do was try to get really impressive signings that could give the crowd something to get excited about and the best possible opportunity to stay in this division.

‘Jamie O’Hara was on the list.

‘We got permission to talk to him yesterday and we were serious about it.

‘The club also had someone who was prepared to fund his wages outside of the budget – one of the high-net-worth people that continue to support this football club.

‘Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, which is a real shame.

‘Perhaps it was just a little bit too late. I’m not too sure of the exact details why it didn’t happen for us.

‘But it was not a gimmick, I can assure you.’

O’Hara scored three goals in 29 appearances and also started for Avram Grant’s team in the 2010 FA Cup final.

He also netted in the 4-1 demolition of Southampton at St Mary’s on the way to the final against Chelsea.

But his career has stalled following a £3.5m move to Molineux in the summer of 2011, and Wolves are desperate to ship him out.

Meanwhile, Hollands had filled the loan boots of midfielder Toumani Diagouraga, who returned to parent club Brentford on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old made 219 appearances and scored 28 goals during a five-year stay at Bournemouth.

He has been at Charlton since 2011, but has featured just once for the Addicks this season.

However, he spent the first half of the season on loan at Gillingham, featuring 18 times in League One.

There was also another arrival at Pompey, with the return of Ryan Bird following a two-month loan spell at Cambridge United. The striker netted nine times for the U’s.