Bradford City have given James O’Brien three months to prove he is good enough.

The Dublin-born youngster has signed a short-term deal at Valley Parade after spending the whole of pre-season with the club.

And Stuart McCall will be hoping the carrot of earning a potentially longer stay will inspire the 19-year-old, as it did with Kyle Nix two years ago.

Nix was given a series of weekly and monthly contracts when he first came in and went on to play regularly during his first season.

Midfielder O’Brien made an immediate impact in the early friendlies and scored City’s first goal in pre-season against Burnley.

With his future secured for the next three months, the challenge has been laid down to the former Birmin-gham player to replicate that form on a regular basis.

O’Brien’s younger brother Mark is currently on Derby’s books – and made his senior debut as a 16-year-old sub against Watford in May.

McCall’s player hunt continues and he has imposed a deadline of today on a couple of potential targets. But he is pleased to tie up another unproven youngster.

The City chief said: “It will give us the chance to have a bit more of a look at him. We’ve got a few young midfielders at the club but James has shown promise in certain areas and we can see how he’s going.

“It’s a frustrating time at the minute trying to get people in and we’re waiting on a couple to come back to us.”

Steve O’Leary will get another opportunity to push his claims in this afternoon’s private reserve game at Sheffield Wednesday.

The 24-year-old, who played 15 times last season for Hereford, made a decent impression against Carlisle on Saturday.

McCall added: “The lad hasn’t played an awful lot of football so to do the full 90 minutes wasn’t easy. He was very good for the first half hour but then naturally tired and drifted out a little bit towards the end.

“But he certainly did enough to earn another chance. He can do a bit of both in midfield – get his foot in as well as pass the ball.

“There were some positive things out of Saturday and it’s just a shame that the first half hour got overshadowed by the next 15 minutes when we conceded three.

“But we shouldn’t lose sight of the positives and the second half was fairly equal.”