MANAGER: As ever it's about what we do

United head to Gresty Road to face Crewe tonight, with both teams looking to give their fans plenty to cheer about through this festive period.

And United boss Paul Simpson spoke today about the fact that the games come thick and fast through the festive spell, with three in seven days to contend with.

“It’s just one of those things,” he said. “You never really know how individuals will react and cope with it, but I’ve got to say that they’ve all been as bright as anything this morning [Wednesday].

“Let’s be fair, if you go fourth in the table and you’ve won against Bradford in front of a good crowd, you have to be feeling bright.

“We’ll dust them down, get them ready to go because we saw when Crewe came up here that they’re a decent side. There’s no game in this league that’s easy.

“They’re coming into this game off the back of a couple of defeats and they won’t be happy about that. They had a tough game at Stockport on Monday, so we have to go and try to put them on the back foot.

“We’ll look to start with our energy, see how long that lasts because of the short turnaround between games, and make sure we’re the team in a better frame of mind and spirit over the 90 minutes.

“In a way we’re at a point where we have to show why we’re fourth in the table, so that’s the challenge we now face.”

“Like I say, you have to accept that the games come thick and fast and get through it,” he added. “At no point have I said to the players that I know it’s tough, because it isn’t.

“It’s three games of football in a short space of time. What a great thing that is to be involved in if you ask me.

“I’m sure the 7,000 Carlisle fans who turned up on Boxing Day for us would swap places with the players if they could, so we have to enjoy it, embrace it and show why we deserve the opportunity to be doing it.

“I think the players are doing that. The big thing they’ve got is a belief that they can grind results out. I think that’s where there was a bit of a disappointment after Northampton because we felt as though we’d let ourselves down.

“Take away the other stuff, the officials and decisions and all of that sort of thing, and we know we didn’t perform the way we could have.

“That’s when you have to be really honest with yourselves so that you can pick up and sort it out. We reacted in the right way against Bradford and we have to carry that reaction on against Crewe.

“Whoever gets selected to play, they have to go out there, start well and work hard. The lads on the bench have to be of the frame of mind whereby they’re going to come on and make a difference.”

Speaking more about what we can face from our opponents, he said: “I think they’ve suffered with injuries, as we have, and I get the feeling there’s been a bit of illness in the dressing room as well.

“At Stockport they had a player suspended, so he missed out, and Kelvin Mellor was missing as well. He’s a big part of their team and we know what he’s all about.

“I think they’ve had some imbalance in the group because of those things, but I’m sure their team selection will be made with causing us issues as a top priority.

“As ever it’s about what we do and how we go about the game. That’s why I want us to be playing with a real front foot mentality, because that’s when we’re at our best.

“It’s always about us, in my opinion. That isn’t arrogance, it’s more a belief in what we have here. We think we have enough to cause them problems if we’re on our game.

“I’ve spoken to the players about the fact that things can turn really quickly in football, especially at League Two level, and if we aren’t quite right it’ll give Crewe a lift.

“They aren’t a bad team, they’ve got good technical players, and forward players who can put you on the back foot. They have a mix of physicality and pace and that’s why we have to be right.

“If everybody is looking at it and thinking that we should be winning because of where we and they are in the table, it’s not the way to approach it at all.

“The players are in a good frame of mind but they have to show that during the game. We’ve had no injuries from the Boxing Day game, even though there were a few knocks and bruises which we’ve been monitoring. We’re in a good place with good health and hopefully that will carry on.

“I’ve no idea what could happen if we don’t win, I just know the table is really tight and we’ve got to keep doing our job properly. I’m a big believer that if you do your own job properly, then the rest will take care of itself.

“We’re in a position where if we do our jobs we don’t need to worry about what’s below or above us.”

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