Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt is happy that he now has time to get on-loan striker Kyle McFarlane up to speed ahead of his home debut against FC Halifax Town next week.

McFarlane didn’t have much time to get to know his new teammates ahead of his first game for the Bluebirds, against Havant & Waterlooville last Saturday.

The 22-year-old had only joined on a one-month loan from Birmingham City the day before and had just one training session with AFC before the 2-0 loss against the Hawks, which ended an eight-game unbeaten run in the National League.

Evatt’s side have a free weekend, due to their early elimination from the FA Trophy, which has given McFarlane, as well as this week’s new signing Sam Hird, the chance to get used to their way of doing things before the Shaymen’s visit to Holker Street.

Evatt said: “He brings a lot of pace – he only joined us the day before, so it was a case of throwing him in there and seeing how he got on.

“We can work with him now because we’ve got two weeks to get him up to speed and get him used to knowing what we do, but he has assets.

“A major asset is his movement and I think we saw that with his disallowed goal. I’m not sure if it was handball or not, but he took it ever so well.

“We also created a chance for him where he could have done better with the curling shot, but we’ll see more and more from him. He’s a good player.”

McFarlane gave glimpses of being just that in the early stages against Havant, as his pace stretched the home defence on more than one occasion and he showed he is capable of setting up chances for others.

However, Barrow struggled to get him involved the longer the match progressed, due to them being uncharacteristically careless in possession.

Evatt said: “We’ve got to get him in the game. I thought our decision-making, in and out of possession, was bad.

“We passed it when we maybe should have hit good areas, we were hitting long balls when we should have passed it and we’ve got to get back making the right decisions at the right time and being brave in and out of possession.

“That means tackling, fighting, scrapping, and whatever else, but also a different kind of bravery, with them wanting the ball. I need to see more of that on matchdays.”