A big part of the current buzz of excitement surrounding the United team is the competition for places which is bringing high level performances from every player, as soon as they pull on the shirt.
Adding to that competitive edge will be the return of defender Rod McDonald, who has missed out this past month having struggled with a groin injury he picked up in training.
“He’s getting closer,” Carlisle boss Chris Beech confirmed. “He’s running well, and we’ve been pleased to see him running.
“He’s a possibility for Tuesday, but when the team plays like this you’re often better to take your extra time with an injury like that, just to make sure it doesn’t reoccur.
“We’re in a fortunate position hopefully to look at that rather than rush him back playing.”
And on the excitement that has been building around the club since the beginning of October, he added: “It’s happening because the team is playing with great vigour, energy, hard work, honesty, there’s a good spirit and team spirit amongst each of the players.
“It’s difficult leaving players out at times – Dean Furman did well at Bradford and accepted the decision for Callum to play. Joe Riley’s accepted Danny Devine’s ascendancy and made sure he’s saying ‘gaffer, I’m still here’ – that’s what you need in a competitive situation.
“What a great goal that was from him, to come off the bench and make an impact. You need that. When you can share it with 2,000 people it’s even better for the lad.”
“A mate of mine said to me when you took over at Carlisle I bet you didn’t think you’d be selling out so soon. We’ve sold out, but can only sell 2,000. It’s still a sell-out, isn’t it, and I think there’d be a lot more here if we could have more.
“Hopefully we’ll get downgraded a tier and we can double that, and let’s see where we all go. I’m really pleased with the home form, really pleased, and delighted that our fans can see it.”
On his own relationship with the supporters, which is growing stronger every week, he commented: “They heard what I said to Joe Riley and Nick Anderton, so I think they quite enjoyed that goal.
“It was weird how I just shout on something and the exact thing happens, and we get what we all want. Nick normally goes into the box, but I told him to stay out and let Joe do it.
“It’s Joe’s goal, great finish, I enjoy things like that, it’s all part and parcel of being involved and sharing football experiences. It’s been pretty difficult when we haven’t been able to do that.
“But the lads have been brilliant, professional in the quiet times of not being able to share. That’s two games in front of 2,000, Southend too, we’ve had 5,000 people on three occasions who have now seen us play well, score goals and win.”
“I’m really happy for our supporters,” he continued. “They’ve had some tough times from what I can gather. I noticed a very negative place, I don’t think the media connected with the players, the players didn’t connect with the office staff, I don’t think the office staff had too much respect for the first team.
“It was all fragmented, that’s probably the best way to describe it. The only way you can put any football club back together is by first and foremost, winning. It helps conjure support and energy, people doing their jobs do it a bit better without asking.
“Things get done and supported easier. So we’ve just got to keep working that way and see what happens. Every game, and it’s an old saying, you have to take every game as it comes.”
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