Nicky Adams on the Plymouth gameWe spoke to midfielder Nicky Adams about another excellent performance following the 1-0 victory over Plymouth at Brunton Park on Saturday.
"That rounds up a massive week for us," he said. "I think everyone looked at the fixtures, and knew we had a tough start, but we played well at Portsmouth with ten men for a long time. That showed how hard we'd worked in pre-season.
"We played really well on Tuesday against a team in a higher division. I'd say we played them off the park for the majority of the game. Today, again, against a team who are fancied, for 90% of the game we were the much better side. 1-0 probably flattered them, but they're a good side and we'll respect everyone who comes here. We'll keep working hard and doing what we're doing."
On the margin of Saturday's victory, he said: "I think the gaffer said that 1-0 is the best win you can have because it shows both sides of you. We've won the last two home games 2-1 and 1-0, but we've had a lot of chances in the first halves of both games. We probably could have been two or three up today and we limited them to maybe two chances in the whole game.
"We worked on starting games on the front-foot during pre-season. We went to Bury with a shape where we sat off them, but we went to Bradford and really pressed them. After the first half at Bradford we knew we were a pressing team and I don't think teams can handle that in this league. It's hard to play against and I think the fitness levels of the lads are really good."
"We've got some really good talented footballers in the squad," he continued. "I think we've shown both sides of our game because we're an attacking threat, but we work hard as well. Sometimes when new players come in it can take a bit of time to gel, but a lot of teams will have new players. Straight from the outset you could see we had a lot of good characters in the dressing room and we've all bonded really well.
"We've done some really good sessions during pre-season with Cassius Camps and being away at Mottram Hall for four days. Things like that take you a long way when it's hard out on the pitch and we've got a great team spirit. We had that last year in abundance at Northampton and I can see similar qualities here this year. There will be times out there when it's hard but if you've got a good team spirit it will take you a long way."
"I'm enjoying my football," he admitted. "I'm just being me. I'm relaxed and I just want to entertain. The atmosphere was great again, as it was on Tuesday night. I've said it before but every time I've played here the home fans have always got behind the team. It's a great place to play and I'm just grateful that I'm here now. I just want to put my mark on things and keep trying to play well.
"Although I start on the left the gaffer gives me licence to go and get on the ball. He tells me to go and play and make it hard for teams. If I'm popping up in different areas it allows the other lads to go and get space.
"I want the ball all the time and if I can help my team mates score goals I'm more than happy. I want to entertain because that's just the way I am. Some days it isn't going to happen, but I believe in myself whoever we're playing against.
"In the team meeting we had before the Portsmouth game I said it didn't matter who we were playing because we're Carlisle and they're in the same division as us. We respect everyone we play, but we've got to believe in ourselves.
"The confidence in the dressing room is massive and we've had a great start. We've played two of the fancied teams and got two good results along with the good result in the cup. We'll take that."
Lookign ahead to the Cheltenham game on Tuesday night, he said: "It will be a tough game because they've had soem good results as well. They'll still have the momentum that comes with winning a division, which they did last season. We'll give them respect but we'll just be concentrating on what we can do.
"I don't think you can ask for much more than two wins and a draw from three tough games. If we can round that off on Tuesday it will be a great start to the season. We're buoyant in the dressing room, the music is blasting, and that's the way it should be. We've got to go into every game confident, - yes, there'll be little blips along the way but we've got the character in there."
"I think the only thing missing from my game at the moment is a goal," he admitted. "I was close today, and close on Tuesday, but I know it'll come. I don't worry about things like that.
"I'm more worried about my own performances and working hard. I'm quite honest with myself, I know I'm doing well and working hard for the team, so the goals will come. Look at Reggie today, one fell for him perfectly at the edge of the box and he's a great finisher, so I'm delighted for him. If we're scoring goals as a team I'm happy. I'll just keep working hard and trying to set chances up."
One of the real plus points from the season so far has been his blossoming relationship with team captain Danny Grainger on the left hand side of the pitch.
"Danny is a great lad," he said. "He's our captain and he's a leader every day. I give him a lot of stick but he's perfect for me to play with. If teams are doubling up on me I know he'll be there to help and he's got a wand of a left foot.
"He just lets me get on with it. He gives me the ball and tells me to go and play. I know that if I'm inside he'll be on the outside - I already know where he's going to be.
"We hit it off straight away and I knew from playing against him last year he's got great quality. As soon as I came in he made me feel welcome and he's a really good pro, and a great captain."
And his final word was for the fans.
"They've been fantastic," he said. "They've been cheering us on and that's all you want because it gives you that extra boost. I'm a confident lad but when you have the fans behind you as well it gives you that extra little lift and you feel like you can do anything.
"There will be times when we need them because it won't all be plain sailing. They've been superb during the whole 90 minutes in the first three games and I think they appreciate what we're doing. We're working hard on and off the ball and if we can keep that up for the season they'll all go home happy."