MANAGER: We'll have another excellent following

United go up against another of the promotion hopefuls on Saturday afternoon with a trip to Prenton Park to face a Tranmere Rovers side who are looking to rekindle their early season form.

“I think it’s a really good place to go, I’ve always liked going there,” manager Paul Simpson said. “I’ve had some good days there and I’ve had some bad days. Their fans are really good, they create a great atmosphere.

“I don’t know what it is but they’ve got a bit of spirit about them, and I think their teams always have as well.

“It’s one I’m looking forward to, they’ll give us a real fight because they’re scrapping at the top of the table for all the right reasons, and we’re scrapping because we need results for our reasons.

“We’ll have another excellent following and we’ve got to do everything we can to make them happy.”

On what we can expect to see from the opposition, he said: “They’ve got experience and nouse, they’ve got young lads who are on loan and playing well, so it will be a tough game. If we’re right, I know we’ll cause them problems.

“We’ve got energy, we’ve got ability, we’ve seen the commitment and desire, and we have to give all of that, then match them for whatever they do.

“They are where they are on the back of a tremendous first half of the season. They’ve conceded a few more goals recently, which I’m sure they’ll be looking at, and we have to do all we can to give them plenty to think about.

“I want us to be looking at getting into the final third, and I want our individuals to be doing the bits they’re capable of. We have to be much better from set-plays than we were on Tuesday night, because that can be a threat for us, be it a long throw or a corner.

“We have people who can find the right areas, but it isn’t something we utilised at Rochdale. We need to get that right. We’ve got to go there and be totally committed.

“They have got a really good record at home, they’ve only lost three times against teams above them, so we know it’s going to be tough.

“We aren’t going there with any fear, we’ve just got to go and get our sleeves rolled up again and start the game with the right mentality and work ethic. If we do that then I’m really confident our ability will come through.”

The good home record means that the hosts will go into the game feeling confident about the job they have to do.

“I think Tuesday night shows good form can change very quickly, but also bad form can,” the gaffer said. “Rochdale were on a really bad run - since we beat them in fact.

“But it shows if the opposition are not quite right, and you give them a lift, they can perform. I’m quite sure if we don’t start right against Tranmere, they’ll get a lift from that and will go on and have a positive performance.

“We’ve got to start this game right. We’ve got to get right about them straight away. I always think the atmosphere at Tranmere helps you to get in the right frame of mind.

“I’m quite sure with our supporters this weekend making up the numbers, they will create an atmosphere to get the players going, and the players have to respond to that. 

“And it’s another where it’s not a really long journey. I think my timing was absolutely brilliant coming in with 15 to go. The first one was Orient, but then we’ve had some nice local trips.

“That’s not normal for Carlisle United. We have some ridiculous journeys. It’s good, the fact we can go to most of these just on the morning and do a pre-match. It’s going to be great support, just like it was on Tuesday at Rochdale.

“As I keep saying, we’ve got to make sure we give them something to smile about. It’s only going to be a good day if we go about our business properly. If we get the performance right, we can’t always guarantee the result, but at least if we get the performance right we give ourselves a chance.”

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