Following a dramatic week of transfer activity at Brunton Park it’s back to football matters at the weekend as United travel to Gresty Road to face in-form Crewe Alexandra.
Manager Steven Pressley spoke to us about the game at his weekly press conference.
“Having made new signings it would be tempting to make a lot of changes, but I think we must also respect the players who have performed well for a period of time now,” he said. “It isn’t automatic that you come here and play.
“These players who have worked so hard have got this club into this position and we do have to respect that. The stats from last week tell us that the players worked exceptionally hard to get the result at Port Vale, in terms of distances covered, but we want more.
“We’re coming up against a team at the weekend in Crewe that’s won their last three games. They’ve won five out of their last seven and they’ve beaten, on that journey, four of the top teams.
“Make no mistake, this is a really tough game this weekend, but we’ve got to go down there with the mindset that we’re there to put an end to their run. They’ve had those three consecutive wins but that has to come to an end on Saturday.
“That has to be our approach and our goal. It’s a real challenge for us but if we really are serious about what we want to achieve then we have to put an end to their run of games.”
“To do that we have to concentrate on doing the basics of the game right,” he commented. “We need to work to the shape of the team well and aggressively, as we did against Port Vale, and we need to keep the intensity and work rate high.
“If we concentrate on those elements of our game we’ll get the result, but if we take our eye off the ball there’s no doubt Crewe have the potential to turn us over.”
“The exciting thing about this game is that it’s two teams very much in form,” he said. “They’re a very good team who are very well organised. A lot of their young players come through their academy system and they have pride in their football club.
“The manager has navigated his way out of what was a problem period and they are now right back on track. They’ll see this is a big game as well because they’ll also want to show that they’re serious about their promotion aspirations.
“If they win this game they’re back in the hunt, so it makes for an intriguing and interesting game.
“In terms of the table, we know what it means if we keep picking up points. We’re looking up at where we want to be, but you have to be careful. As soon as we start to look too far ahead we’ll be in trouble, and I genuinely mean that. It has to be about taking each game on its merits and making sure you do things properly.”
And with all of this week’s arrivals having been courted by other clubs, we spoke to gaffer Steven Pressley to find out what it was about Carlisle United that had swung the decisions this way.
“It says that we’re an attractive club, and players always want to come to a club where they have an opportunity of gaining promotion and doing well,” he told us. “As a player you often think these moments arise every season, but they don’t.
“In the blink of an eye your career has gone, and you don’t have many opportunities to win things. We can’t ever lose sight of that and that’s why we must grasp this opportunity.”
“I think new players have looked at us knowing they have a chance of experiencing being part of a promotion winning team,” he continued. “Nothing can ever beat achieving something like that.
“We’re also a club, in my opinion, with really good potential, and that’s something players always find to be attractive. However, and I’ll keep saying this, along with that they need to understand that they aren’t guaranteed to start.
“They have to roll their sleeves up and help those players who have already done the work to get us to where we are. If they earn the shirt by doing that, they then have to keep it. Those are the standards we’re going set.”
One blemish on the new arrival copybook is the bad news that Arthur Gnahoua, who joined up on a short-term contract ahead of the trip to Port Vale, could possibly be facing a period in the treatment room having picked up a hamstring injury during the weekend game.
“We’re still waiting for an absolute confirmation on Arthur, but I think he’s going to be out for a period of time, which is a real blow to him,” the gaffer told us. “He was keen to come here and really make a name for himself so he’ll be really disappointed.
“I’m disappointed for him, because he could be out for some time.”
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