A quarter of the crowd at an away venue on a Tuesday night is not to be sniffed at, but it’s no longer a surprise to anyone who knows anything about Carlisle United.
And certainly not for manager Paul Simpson.
“The supporters have been magnificent again tonight,” he agreed, “They stayed and showed their appreciation, and that’s because I think they realised we had a bit of a go in the second half.
“We didn’t see that enough in the first half, I thought we were too deep and we were too passive, and we didn’t get close enough to their players at all.
“We were better when we changed the shape with 15 minutes to go in the first half, but we move on. We’ll dust ourselves down and get ready for the next one.
“In the huddle at the end I told the players that the way the night went shows the importance of starting every game properly.
“I said I couldn’t criticise them because they’ve had an absolutely magnificent March, and we can’t forget that. We just have to learn.
“We’ve got to take it on the chin, and then I told them to turn round and show their appreciation for the 501 fans who made the trip down here on a difficult midweek night.”
Speaking more about the number of fans who came to give their backing to the Blues, he added: “It's magnificent, it shows what the supporters are capable of. It’s brilliant.
“That’s why I wanted to take the players over there. I said what I had to say and then I wanted us to clap and show our appreciation for another magnificent turnout for us.
“Hopefully we’ll give them something to shout about in these last games we’ve got, because even though we lost they were with us all the way.
“It’s just disappointing we couldn’t give them something. The last time I came I think we filled the whole of that side over there, but to get a quarter of this crowd was brilliant.
“It shows the positivity the players have given them all because we’ve shown that we can compete and we’re prepared to go out there and work hard.
“Even on a difficult pitch when we got it down and switched the play we caused problems. Maybe we do need that little bit more quality at key times, and more energy when we get into that final third, and then we’ll be giving the supporters the end product they want.”
“But they’ll be there again on Saturday, there’s no doubt about that,” he concluded. “That’s why even though there’s a disappointment of losing, it’s always important to show your appreciation.
“It’s been a big effort from the fans and they should be thanked for it. We have to come, this is our job, they’ve chosen to come, made this journey, paid their money to come.
“There’s a massive appreciation from us for everything they’re doing for us at the moment.”