ALUN ARMSTRONG is hoping Tyrone O’Neill picks up where he left off last November after re-joining Darlington.

O’Neill has joined Quakers on a loan deal from Middlesbrough until January 2, having made a positive impression at Blackwell Meadows in the first three months of last season.

The 21-year-old striker scored seven goals in 17 games before he was recalled to the Middlesbrough ranks ahead of Darlington’s FA Cup first-round game at Walsall.

Former Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate recalled O’Neill after losing a number of senior strikers to injury, and the youngster made his Championship debut off the substitutes’ bench during Boro’s 4-0 defeat at Leeds United November.

That turned out to be his only senior appearance of the season, and Neil Warnock has agreed to send him back to Darlington.

“Tyrone was a big hit with us last time, and has something special,” said Armstrong, who is expected to name the loanee in his squad for tomorrow’s National League North game at Alfreton Town. “I’ve been trying to get him for a while.”

Darlington recorded their third straight away victory when they comfortably won 4-1 at Guiseley in midweek with probably their best performance in the league so far this season.

Now Armstrong has called for more consistency for tomorrow’s game at the Impact Arena – he doesn’t want a return to last Saturday’s miserable performance against Telford.

“I was pleased with the reaction of the lads on Tuesday night,” he said. “We have to improve on our consistency, so we must replicate the Guiseley performance at Alfreton. The Cup has its distractions, and it does affect players, even if you’re trying not let it do so.

“Overall it was a great performance on Tuesday night. Maybe Guiseley were a bit rusty after three weeks off, but we had a few tired legs as well from playing twice a week and players coming back from injury.

“I believe we’ll see a reaction from Alfreton after they lost to Leamington by 4-3 in midweek after leading 3-0 at half time. We’ve lost one after leading 2-0 at half time, and it’s not nice at all. Alfreton will be physical in both boxes, and we’ll need to match that.

"We have to be like we were at Guiseley - no powder puff defending, we want to be aggressive. The lads know their standards.”