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Club News

View from the Press Box: Carlisle United

13 September 2019

Ahead of Saturday’s game against Carlisle United at The Lamex Stadium, we caught up with journalist Jon Colman, of the Carlisle News & Star...

It has been a below-par start to the season for Carlisle, particularly defensively. What do you put this down to?

"Carlisle's squad changed considerably in the summer and part of this was an entirely new back four. A clean sheet at Scunthorpe aside, this has not yet led to security in the league.

"Few would argue that certain individuals have hit impressive form at the back and United have conceded some sloppy goals, including from set-pieces.

"They have not yet dominated attackers in the way supporters would wish to see. Some fans also believe the team has lacked a physical presence in midfield by way of protecting the back four, while the team's 4-3-3 system has at times left their full-backs exposed.

"In goal, Adam Collin was last season's player of the year and he kept the score down against Exeter last weekend. He deserves better protection both from the defence and the team in general."

Do you expect Manager Steven Pressley will be given time to turn things around?

"There is no immediate sign of a change in the Club's support of Pressley, who they backed towards the end of last season with a new contract and allowed to rebuild the squad in the summer. This he has done, on a tight budget, but with a particular way of playing firmly in mind.

"Carlisle have traditionally not been a knee-jerk, sacking club, and Pressley would be expected to be given time to improve results. How confident the board remain in him will, though, depend on whether and how quickly the manager and his team can get the side away from the bottom end of League Two."

What kind of game do you expect on Saturday?

"Hard to say, given the change at the top at Stevenage. Both sides need the confidence boost of a win and this will probably make it a more tense game than you would normally expect at this time of year.

"You would imagine the home side to be galvanised to a degree by the challenge of impressing a new manager/caretaker, and they will no doubt see Carlisle as opponents they are capable of beating. Carlisle, for their part, must see opportunities against a side yet to win this season.

"They sneaked a smash-and-grab victory against Scunthorpe recently but will need to play better at The Lamex."

Final prediction and goalscorers?

"An exhausting 2-2 draw: Cuthbert and Guthrie for Stevenage, Thomas and Bridge for Carlisle."

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