NEW York City signing Kyle McFarlane could be in line for a debut start for Saturday’s FA Cup visit to Irlam, manager Steve Watson has said.

On Saturday, York announced that McFarlane had penned a short-term deal with the club after his release from Birmingham City in March.

The striker was an unused substitute in City’s 2-0 victory at Darlington, but Watson says that McFarlane may be called upon for trip to Irlam.

“It is a chance for a few lads to make an impression,” said Watson of the cup tie. “There’s a few lads that need game time.

“Josh King, Nathan (Dyer) and Paddy (McLaughlin) need 90 minutes and then you’ve got Kyle (McFarlane), Macca (Steve McNulty) and Wes (York).

“There are lads that need games. I’ll have a look at it and make sure that we’ve got a strong side that we can rely upon. We can’t just make 10 changes and hope it goes well.”

McFarlane, 22, spent 12 years at Birmingham, scoring 11 goals in 21 in his final season with the club’s under 23s side.

Watson, a former coach at Birmingham, explained his past relationship with the striker.

“I remember Kyle from Birmingham when I was there,” added Watson, "and I am still very good friends with the people at Birmingham.

“Kyle is someone that we nearly got last season.

“He was meant to be coming to us for a Friday session and he hurt his knee on the last training session with Birmingham on the Thursday, which put him out for the rest of the season.

“We’ve had him in for two or three weeks now, off and on. And, I’ve seen enough to know that he’s back to somewhere like he was previously.

“He’s different to what we’ve got at the moment. Dan (Maguire) is not going to be available for us for another three or four weeks.

“Kyle coming in gives us a good option. It’s just a short-term deal for both us and him, to see where he’s at.

“We really need to organise a couple of training ground games to have a proper look at him.

“There’s very little that you can tell about a player when you’re doing possession (drills) and five-a-side games, particularly players that play on the shoulder and have really good pace, like Kyle.

“We’ll try and organise a couple of games this month now that we haven’t got so many Tuesday games.”

The York manager laid out his ambitions for a strong run in the FA Cup this season and made it clear that he won’t be thinking of Irlam as a light touch.

“It’s a tough one and we’ve got to find that happy medium,” he said about his team selection for the game.

“The club deserves to have a good cup run. It’s important for us, not only financially, but the club and our fans.

“We need to focus on getting through to the next round of the (FA) Cup. But, there may not be another opportunity to give these lads the rest and recuperation that they need.

“But, make no mistake, we’re focused on getting through to the next round of the cup, we have to be.”