United’s support this season has been nothing short of phenomenal, and Saturday once again sees the away allocation of 1,366 snapped up well ahead of the day of the game itself.
“I’ve just found out that we’ve sold out and wow, what a difference that makes,” Carlisle boss Paul Simpson said. “I knew our numbers were high, but I was looking at the Peterborough contingent on Wednesday night and I was thinking that if we could fill that away section it would be really impressive.
“For the whole football club, it’s great. It’s what we want to see. As a football club we’re the hub of the community here. We are the big thing in the city that gives people a positive feel.
“If we can be putting on performances and getting results that gives our supporters a lift, and they’re going into work on a Monday or Sunday and we’ve given them something positive, then that’s what we’re here for.
“We’ve got to do everything we can to keep that positive feeling, keep the fans coming in and hopefully to keep the club moving forward.”
The numbers travelling on Saturday could well make it feel like a home game, particularly if the team hits the ground running.
“We have to use that to our advantage if we can,” he agreed. “We’ve got to make sure we get the enthusiasm and momentum from them.
“I’d like to think the players are going to have the enthusiasm anyway, but the supporters can certainly help us. I remember some of our Tuesday games in that Conference season, going down to places in Lancashire, some of the support was absolutely incredible.
“They’ll make a hell of a lot of noise if we give them something to back, and the players have to respond to that. It’ll be a good place to celebrate if we get to the end and we’ve won.
“As for me talking about the fans to the players, if I was to say that I’d highlight it I’d make people think that I plan what I’m going to say. I just don’t.
“I always say whatever comes into my head, based on what I feel when I watch them warm up. When I watch the supporters as they come in, that gives me a feeling, and how they perform in the first half dictates what I say to them at that point.
“When the whistle goes, sometimes that determines whether it’s going to be a positive chat or, as has happened this season, we can win the game and they get a bollocking. It all depends how I’ve seen the game. Let’s hope that whatever gets said on Saturday, it’s good.”
And with just the three league defeats, the Blues head into the encounter in a decent league position.
“We feel like we’re in a little bit of a sticky patch, and I would have liked at least one more win out of our current run, being honest,” he said. “We haven’t got it, so let’s get back to winning ways and set ourselves up for the FA Cup.
“You want to get on sustained runs because it means you’re picking up points. It’s really odd, I tend not to look back at things, so when someone tells me we’re eight or nine games unbeaten, I don’t really bother about that.
“All that matters is how we’re playing. Things are going ok, but I also known that things can improve even more. I want us to be better, and I’ll keep demanding that of the players and staff.
“We have to set high standards as staff so that the players respond in the right way. As long as I’m here I’ll keep demanding standards and I hope the players keep working to try to achieve it. If they do we’ll go on long runs, which is what brings things to get excited about.
“Look, we’re certainly higher than I expected us to be. In no way am I being disrespectful to the players, it’s credit to them that they’ve performed the way they have. We have to carry it on, that’s the challenge.
“I’ll keep asking them to work even harder because we have a group of players who I think can make it even better for us.”
“Saturday is our next chance to make things better,” he concluded. “They’re locked with us in the league, and we have to make sure we leave them behind.
“It’s the only thing on our mind. Go there and put a performance in that’s full of energy and make sure come full time that we’re thanking our fans with big smiles on our faces.”