It’s a season almost unlike any other as every game brings with it a new injury concern or, with us now into the meat of the campaign, fears of a suspension due to the yellow card totting up process.
Saturday’s trip to Tranmere was made without Jordan Gibson in attendance, with him having reached the five games within 19 played marker last Tuesday at Stockport and, of course, Ryan Edmondson was missing due to the three-game punishment he received for his Orient red card.
Add to that the late withdrawal of defender Fin Back, who phoned in on Saturday morning to report a worsening illness, and an early substitution for midfielder Callum Guy during the game, and you’ve got yourself what is now a typical Carlisle United weekend.
“Callum’s got a bit of a problem with his groin,” manager Paul Simpson said. “It was a little bit sore at half time and he looked across at us and told us he couldn’t carry on just after the restart.
“We’d primed Jayden [Harris] as to what his role was going to be so that he was ready, and I thought he was really effective. That was good to see.
“We’ve just got to keep going, hopefully Callum’s groin isn’t too bad, we’ll assess that when we get back and hopefully he doesn’t make it 12 players absent for next weekend.”
“Jon [Mellish] picked up his booking and it’s a suspension for him,” he added. “I spoke to Mells before the game and I told him that if he got booked in a challenge that was a desperation one, I’d accept it.
“There was no way I was accepting a cheap one from him and there was no need for that one at all. There was absolutely no need for it.
“I’ve said this about Jordan Gibson as well, we’re picking up yellow cards for needless, stupid things. That was pointless from Mells, he should not be suspended, but he’s going to have to be. It’s not just because of today, it’s the previous bookings as well.
“It’s another stupid yellow card, not necessary, it’s something we’ve got to nip in the bud, we can’t afford to be losing players to silly suspensions.”
But he confirmed that Taylor Charters wasn’t one to be too concerned about after his excellent performance.
“Taylor just got cramp through the whole of his leg, which is understandable with the work he put in,” he explained. “He was given an opportunity to perform and he ran himself into the ground. We can’t ask for more than that.
“I felt we were at a point where we needed to see him, and it wasn’t easy at all because I think Corey Whelan has been fantastic.
“There’s nothing to say if Corey had played we wouldn’t have had the same level of performance. Nobody will ever know that.
“I spoke to Corey on Friday and said that he’s done really well, he really grabbed his opportunity at Newport and deserved to stay in the side.
“I’d explained to Morgan Feeney a few games ago that he was going to have to be patient, but I just felt the time was right to put him back into it.
“I thought he was outstanding at the back, just like Corey has been. It’s nice to have alternatives that we can put in and get that level of performance from them.”