Midfielder Kelvin Etuhu picked up his second consecutive Peter Jackson the Jeweller man-of-the-match award last weekend following what was another excellent performance.
Having started all eight of United’s league games so far, he’s having his best run of form since joining the Blues two summers ago.
Looking back to the Tranmere game, he told us: “It was one of those games where things just didn’t go our way. Obviously we missed the penalty and I don’t think we can deny that it knocked us for six, really. I thought we played well, as a team, and it ended up just being one of those days.
“It’s heart-breaking to lose when you’ve played well. It’s also frustrating because we had a few good chances and we looked good going forward. Playing well at home and not getting anything for it is never nice, because you want at least a point from a game like that as a thank you for the support you get from the fans.
“What we have to remember is that it’s been a good start to the season and we have a good bunch of lads here. Everyone works hard and we’re confident that if we play like that we’ll pick up wins and points.”
So, was it an upbeat dressing room on Monday morning?
“The gaffer makes it clear to us that, win or lose, once the game is finished we have to crack on and get prepared for the next one,” he said. “There are lessons to learn, but it’s very much about looking forward to what we can affect next.
“That’s a good thing because it means you don’t get ahead of yourself or, if you do lose, you don’t start to feel too down. We’ve trained hard all week and that’s because we know it’s about what we do on Saturday now.”
And on his own form, which has seen him pick up those weekly awards, he commented: “I think I’ve been alright so far. I’ve said it before, but the main thing is for me to stay fit.
“With that I also need to be consistent, but I’ve been quite pleased with what I’ve been able to help the team with so far. I didn’t even know I’d been picked as man-of-the-match last weekend because, being honest, when the game is going on you’re not really listening out for things like that.
“You’re just thinking about how you can affect things on the pitch, especially if you’re behind, like we were last Saturday.”
Praise on social media has also been backed up by good words from the manager following what has been an impressive start to the campaign.
“It’s nice to have the fans saying good things about your performances, but it’s also rewarding to hear it coming from the manager and the other players as well,” he confirmed. “You have to work with them every day and they see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
“The lads you work with definitely keep you on your toes. There’s real competition for places and I think that’s good for everybody. The other thing we have is that the manager is demanding high standards. He’s looking closely at what you do in training, and out on the pitch, and that makes you want to perform.
“It means you’re going into games confident because you’ve been made to push yourself during the week. With the way football is in this day and age, with fitness and quality levels so high, you can’t afford to just turn up and expect things to happen for you.
“The work has to be done to get the rewards, and that’s what the manager is expecting of us each and every day. Again, being honest, last season was hard because I’d get going and then I’d break down with an injury.
“Then I found I was playing out of position on a few occasions, so it’s good to see the faith the gaffer has put in me this season. It makes you want to do well every week.”
The trip to Gigg Lane sees a return to a club where he made just under 100 appearances prior to his move back up north to Carlisle.
“It’s a club I know well, so I’m looking forward to going back,” he said. “There are a few players I know there, and some of the staff as well, and obviously it’ll be good to see Nicky Adams and Tom Miller again.
“I don’t think it’ll feel strange going back because my job now is that I play for Carlisle. I want us to get the result because we want the three points for our own purposes.
“Once you get out onto the pitch all your friendships and things count for nothing. You put all of that to one side, because it’s about getting the result.
“We’re all going there to keep playing the way we have been and to put in another good away display. It’s such a tight division that we know if we find the consistency we’re looking for we’ll be where we want to be.”