Tuesday night sees the Blues make the trip to Meadow Lane to face Notts County.
The Magpies have been through a horrible start to the season and have found victories hard to come by. Currently managerless, following the sacking of Harry Kewell after just ten weeks in the job, they are desperately looking for the spark to ignite a campaign which has thus far failed to inspire.
Their last home game saw caretaker boss Steve Chettle watch his side lose 3-0 to fellow strugglers Cheltenham Town, which dumped the Magpies into the relegation places.
Saturday's visit to Morecambe was also overseen by Chettle, and the Magpies missed out on three points when Kevin Ellison pounced with just two minutes left to play to level the scores.
Reports suggest that Chettle will remain in charge for Tuesday, as new appointment Neal Ardley completes a family holiday, but there is little doubt that progress will be monitored from afar as the action unfolds.
The ever-reliable Jon Stead is still weighing in with the goals - he has six strikes and one assist to his name so far. Kane Hemmings has five goals and two assists and Enzio Boldewijn has three goals and two assists, suggesting that there is better to come if County can find their missing confidence.
Manager’s thoughts ...
Speaking ahead of the midweek game, assistant manager Tommy Wright said: "It's been a tough period for Notts County and they won't be happy with where they are at all.
"They struggled to pick up wins at the start of the season and that set things off on the wrong foot. Neal, the new manager, is coming in and I'm sure he'll have his own ideas on what needs to be done going forward.
"I've seen them play and they're a good side, so we definitely won't be taking anything for granted.
"If they play the way they can, with the quality players they have, they will be a match for anyone in this division.
"As ever we go there worrying about ourselves and what we can do. We respect the opposition but it's more about concentrating on us and what we can do. We'll be looking to get the points for our own reasons and to keep our own good run of away form going."
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Did You Know?
+ Italian club Juventus took their black and white striped shirts from those of Notts County, with the Magpies playing a friendly match at the opening of the Old Lady’s new stadium in 2011.
+ Notts have played more Football League games than any other club, having racked up also 5,000 games during their 155-year history.
+ The club’s now famous Wheelbarrow Song originated in the 1988-89 season, after a trip to Wembley to face Tranmere Rovers.
Head to Head
The sides have met on a total of 34 occasions over the years with United winning 12 of those contests. The Magpies have the upper hand having notched up 18 victories.
The game last October here at Brunton Park ended as 1-1 stalemate, despite Carlisle having taken the lead after a good spell of pressure through a close range finish from Hallam Hope. A good visiting move early in the second half was finished off by Ryan Yates and that earned his side a share of the spoils.
Watch the highlights from that game here:
The Valentine's Day visit to Meadow Lane brought little in the way of love for the Blues as Notts County ran out winners courtesy of a cool finish from Jon Stead and a scrambled toe poke from the same player. A slight defelction on a Jamie Devitt volley gave the visitors their consolation.
Watch the highlights from that game here:
Man in the middle
Our referee for this game is Mr Thomas Bramall. He has taken charge of 19 games so far this season showing 36 yellow cards and two reds.
We met him for the first time as our main match official for the Yeovil Town home game at the end of last month. It was ultimately a disappointing day for the Blues, as we lost the game to a late, late deflected Tom James free kick, but the cards stayed in the pocket and there were no names taken on the day.
Referee – Thomas Bramall
Assistant Referee 1 – Barry Gordon
Assistant Referee 2 – Ken Haycock
Fourth Official – Adam Crysell
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