In a brutally honest interview with the News & Star, Carlisle United manager Paul Simpson, talked about the club’s chances of the club retaining their League One status.
After Exeter City won 1-0 against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night, the gap to survival for Carlisle has been extended to ten points. With just 18 games left to be played this season, the club need to act sooner rather than later if they want to survive this season.
Rather than focusing on other teams around them, Simpson has emphasised the fact that the only team that he’ll be focusing on is his own.
With just one win in the league since late-October, Carlisle are in dire need of a winning run to pull them out of the relegation zone. That could be easier said than done however, with no back-to-back wins this season.
On Saturday, the Cumbrians welcome high-flyers Bolton Wanderers to Brunton Park in what is a very tough game for the home side. Any sort of points for Simpson’s side would come as a bonus given the disparity in the table between the two.
That being said, in the return fixture in October, Carlisle would in fact beat the Whites 3-1 and fans will be hoping that they can replicate that today.
It might be a new look starting 11 with the arrivals of Josh Vela and Jack Diamond this week, those new faces could spark some enthusiasm in the team and improvements might just be seen.
Speaking to the News & Star, Simpson emphasised that he is only focused on Carlisle’s results, and no one else’s.
“People are saying the gap’s now ten points because results went against us – forget everybody else, we have to do our own.”
“It starts with us. If we don’t do our results properly, it’s irrelevant what goes on anywhere else in the country.
“We’ve got to start soon and would be great if we could start this weekend in what should be a really good challenge and a game we’re looking forward to.”
“My mindset as I was driving into Bolton to watch them on Tuesday was, ‘we’ve got to start winning games’, And then coming back when I heard the results on Five Live it was, ‘we definitely need to start winning games’.
“But that doesn’t change. And I’m a big believer that if you don’t do your own job properly, it’s irrelevant what happens with other teams and we haven’t done our job properly so far.
“So we’ve still got enough games to be able to do it. And the sooner we start, ideally [today], we give ourselves the best chance.”
Although they may have greatly strengthened in the January transfer window, Carlisle are still finding it very hard to win games. As mentioned, one win in the league since the end of October is the type of form that you’d imagine from a side battling for survival.
The visit of Bolton represents a hard task for the Blues, but they might be able to cause an upset after two slightly underwhelming recent performances for the visitors.
Although Simpson doesn’t want to focus on the teams around them, a loss today could see them move even further away from safety.