INTERVIEW: We want to make sure the tempo is right

Danny Grainger looks ahead to the trip to Portsmouth

Team captain Danny Grainger spoke to us at Penrith on Monday night about the local friendly and the season opener at Portsmouth on Saturday.

"It's always nice to come back to Penrith," he said. "It means a lot to the club financially because there are always a lot of fans here with it being just down the road. It's good for the Carlisle fans to be able to see the lads up close and personal as well.

"The whole squad came because the lads were here to support each other, as they will be all season. It's not going to be about 11 players from the first to last game. We're going to need everyone in the squad so it's important we all stick together.

"We've already got a great team spirit in the dressing room and everyone is looking forward to the start of the season. There's a lot of noise in there now - Raynesy and myself are what you'd call the gobby ones - but we've got the likes of Nicky Adams and Mike Jones in who have a lot of experience as well. We're all making sure we're sharp and on it so we're ready to go on match day. There are a lot of demanding people in there now and it's fantastic.

"The pre-season games have been good because it's important to gel together as a team, but the real business starts on Saturday," he commented. "We've been building up towards Saturday in training. We've got a hectic period to start with so we want to hit the ground running.

"The work on the training pitch is all about looking forward to Portsmouth and making sure that once we get down there we're ready to go. We've looked at team shape and set pieces and we want to make sure the tempo is right.

"Everything will be covered by the coaching staff and we just need to make sure we hit the ground running. You couldn't have got a harder fixture but it's a fantastic opportunity to lay down a marker. If we come away with three points then all of a sudden people start looking at us and thinking we're in it for the long haul."

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