Steven Pressley has admitted a deal to send Carlisle United midfielder Jason Kennedy on loan to Hartlepool could not be agreed.

Pressley confirmed the National League club had been interested in a move for Kennedy in January.

But the 32-year-old remained with the Cumbrians after the transfer window and there has been no further attempt to revive the move.

The possibility of a switch to the North East for Kennedy, after his return from a long-term injury, was reported earlier this week by the Hartlepool Mail.

It came at a time United were trying to secure some first-team football for the experienced player after his spell on the sidelines.

Pressley said: “It’s true – I’d spoken to Jason about his situation, and he told me he needed to play games.

“We worked on trying to achieve something that suited Jason which was around this area – Hartlepool, these types of clubs.

“At the time Hartlepool had a certain amount of loan players and we couldn’t facilitate the opportunity for it to happen.

“They were interested but it couldn’t happen at that moment in time. So it went dead.

“I haven’t heard anything else from them since then but it was something we tried to work to give Jason the opportunity to play.”

Reports in the North East suggested United were only willing to allow Kennedy out for a month, whilst Pools wanted to take him for the rest of the season.

The midfielder has made three sub appearances this season after making a successful return from pelvis surgery which saw him out of action for 14 months.

Pressley said the prospect of any more recent departures had been reduced by the shortage of available players at United.

Injuries to the likes of Mark Cullen, Arthur Gnahoua and Macaulay Gillesphey have reduced the manager’s numbers.

There is no prospect of any loan deals with National League clubs now as their loan deadline passed last Thursday.

Carlisle can also no longer register free agents to play this season – not that there has been any realistic prospect of such a signing recently.

Pressley said: “I haven’t had any names put to me in recent weeks in terms of opportunities or in a situation where [a free agent] is at suitable levels.”

The United manager has said, though, that he wants to run the rule over some trialists before the end of the season.

He shelved a reserve friendly against Preston this week but hopes to rearrange some second-string action.

“I do want to have that because I think it’s important,” he said.

“We’ve got a few people we’d like to see before the end of the season up and close. We will try and get some games.

“There’s also obviously players like Jason eager to get games.

“Just now it’s a bit of a balancing act between getting games and compromising the squad.

“But I think it’s a huge part. If I’m here next season, bounce games, second team games, to keep your players sharp and at it, and for the development of our younger player – I’m all for them.”