DEAN Court loan stars Matthew Mills and James O'Connor both look set to extend their respective stays with Cherries into a second month.

Saints teenager Mills and Aston Villa's O'Connor have both impressed since being drafted in to help ease Cherries' defensive injury crisis four weeks ago.

And although their deals are due to expire following tomorrow's League One clash against Hull, it appears the pair will both remain to boost Cherries' play-off push.

However, should Mills stay he would be unavailable for Cherries' Easter Monday showdown against MK Dons after being called up by England under-19s.

Cherries boss Sean O'Driscoll, speaking yesterday, said the situation regarding both players' loan spells was "ongoing".

He also confirmed he had already spoken to Saints boss Harry Redknapp about Mills, but added that O'Connor's circumstances were "slightly different because Villa are keen to do something a bit more permanent".

When asked whether there would be a possibility of O'Connor signing for Cherries, O'Driscoll replied: "I don't know. He's certainly done well enough and ability-wise there is no problem. He's a great kid and he works extremely hard with the rest of the squad.

"But nothing is black and white in Football and we'll just have to wait and see."

Asked if either player would be likely to stay for another month on loan, O'Driscoll replied: "You would like both of them and that would be the ideal situation. But each possible loan has got complications. Matt's away with England and it's how Villa view another month."

O'Connor, whose existing contract is up in the summer, told the Daily Echo that he would like to stay for another month and also said that he would "definitely consider" joining Cherries should he not be offered fresh terms at Villa Park.

The 21-year-old, who has been laid low with a heavy cold this week, added: "A lot depends on what happens between Villa and Bournemouth, but I've really enjoyed my month here and I've had a great time.

"All the games have gone pretty well apart from Blackpool where we had a bad result. But we bounced back against Walsall and the team like to knock it around and play football the right way."

When asked about his long-term plans, O'Connor added: "That's out of my hands so I can't really comment on that to be honest. I'm just trying to get as many games in as I can and I'm taking each game as it comes. I can't affect that at the moment. I've just got to wait and see what happens.

"I would definitely consider it (signing for Cherries) because I had heard good things before I came down and everything has been confirmed since I've been here. They are a good bunch of lads, the set-up is quite good and I've really enjoyed it down here. I would definitely consider it, yes."

Mills said: "My agent came down on Wednesday to speak to the gaffer and Richard O'Kelly and I think something has been sorted out. I don't know if it's going to be for a month or for the rest of the season, I'm not too sure.

"I want to stay for the rest of the season because if I went back to Southampton, I would only be playing in the reserves or looking to go out on loan again. I feel quite settled here and hopefully I can see out the rest of the season because I think we've got a massive shout of making the play-offs."

l A Football League spokesman has confirmed that players are permitted to sign monthly loan agreements and permanent contracts after next week's transfer deadline, providing they are already registered with the club concerned.

Therefore, Thursday's deadline would not affect any future deals involving either Mills or O'Connor and both players would be free to extend their loan stays up to a maximum of 93 days.

The loans involving John Spicer and Eddie Howe do not count towards Cherries' seasonal quota as both deals became permanent.