Keith Millen has decided against a Carlisle United return for midfielder Brandon Comley.

The Blues manager has opted not to extend the stay of a player who has been training with the squad in recent weeks.

Comley featured in an in-house game on Tuesday as Millen assessed the 26-year-old former Blues loan man.

Millen said the ex-Bolton Wanderers and Colchester United man performed well, but will not be offered a deal at Brunton Park.

Millen said: “We had a practice game on Tuesday and it was the first time I’d seen him in a game, other than on video.

“He [Comley] did well, did what he does, but I felt I needed to make a decision this week for his sake more than mine.

“I would have been happy for him to carry on training with us a bit longer, but for the player, he needs to get himself sorted.

“I asked myself, ‘What more do I need to see that’s going to change my mind?’

“He was good to have around the place, is a good player and has got more fitness into him, so wherever he goes now they’ll be getting someone who’s fitter.

“We’ve helped him in that respect but I couldn’t guarantee him a place in the team.

“We’ve got good competition for places, and when I’m not sure on something I won’t do it.

“The next one or two I bring in I think need to be something a little bit different, because I think we’re in a good place now and we don’t just need more bodies.”

Tuesday’s in-house game also saw Lewis Alessandra and Zach Clough get some minutes under their belts as they step up their return from injury.

Millen said of the duo: "They played 60-odd minutes. They’ve come back from injury, they’re good, [although] not fully fit yet.

"Medically they’re fine, which is the main thing. They’ve only really trained three or four sessions so far, and they’ve been out six or seven weeks..they’re not up to speed yet.

"I would say they’re probably fit enough to play some part in the game, [but] I’m fortunate we’ve got almost a fully fit squad now; the numbers are big."

On the practice game, United's boss added: "The lads who’ve had Covid, some of them have had a bit of after-effect and it was good to get them going a bit more.

"It was a game we needed. We had 14 pros playing in it, and they all needed game time.

"Also it gave me a chance to see some of the younger lads that I’ve not seen much of. That was good, to try and pick up on some of the younger ones coming through."