United head to Rodney Parade to face a Newport side that has hit a rough patch, following what had been an extremely strong start to their campaign.
But Carlisle boss Paul Simpson is under no illusions that it’ll be another difficult Saturday afternoon away day.
“It is a really tough place to go,” he said. “It’s funny because they’re having a bit of a rough time at home at the moment. That’s quite surprising because I think they’re a really good side.
“James [Rowberry] is a really good coach and I think he’s got a good plan for what he wants to do there. I don’t know why it’s not really working for them, and they come into this game on the back of four defeats.
“They won’t like that, so it’s up to us to make sure it goes to five. I don’t want us to be the ones who give them that lift that takes them back to the form they were in before this run started.
“They had four or five straight wins through August, so it can quite easily flip. That’s why we need to make sure we’re right.
"Form is what affects the Newport team. We’re going there full of confidence, to prepare a team to go and win. That’s all I can do. Unfortunately no game is ever won by form on paper. It’s won on the grass.
"I’m really pleased with how the Newport pitch looks after a couple of years of it being quite poor, it looks fantastic. It’s up to our players to go and play, whatever current form says."
Their Tuesday night defeat at the hands of Forest Green was another game where, by all accounts, they did enough to have deserved better.
“They played well by all accounts and I know from the comments that they’re not happy with the fact they lost that game,” the gaffer tod us. “They’re starting to get influential players back and they’re a group that had a good season last year. We’ve got to be really up for it.
“I think they’ll be determined to turn it round and I’m expecting them to come at us. It’s never an easy environment, it’s quite a hostile crowd, and we have to do everything we can to silence them. Hopefully we’ll produce a performance that does that.
“I think this is a really big week for us with two tough difficult away games. We then come back to a really good game against Crewe, and I’ve always said that you start to get a sense and an idea of where you are after 10 or 12 games.
“Well, when we get to the Crewe game we’ll certainly have an idea. We’re all fully aware that we haven’t won away from home yet, that’s something we want to change, and I’m looking for us to do it as soon as we possibly can so that it adds to the good work that’s been done already.
“We’re not even a quarter of the way in, so we can’t get excited about anything at this point. In general things have been very good, but I do think there have been mistakes along the way, from me included.
“I wasn’t happy with the team I sent out to face Stevenage, and I think, if I’m being honest, we’d have probably gone on to lose the game at Grimsby, if it had carried on.
“Let’s be fair, we’re not pulling up loads of trees, but we’re not struggling either. Having said that, I want us to be doing better and that’s what I’ll keep pushing for.”
Part of the good start has been the sense of togetherness seen in the dressing room.
“I have to say it is about results, that’s what does generate good feeling,” he said. “But I also think it’s the personalities we have that are making it such a good place to be.
“I’m certainly not going to sit here and say it’s me, because it isn’t. I can just hear it all happening. We’ve put the group together, and I think it highlights the importance of finding out about characters and personalities before you bring someone in.
“There are times where you have to make a quick decision, and you maybe can’t do the background checks, but we’re doing it as much as we can so that we know they’re the right kind of person to fit what we want this club to be.
“So far I think we’ve done ok with that, and there is a good feeling, even from those who aren’t regular starters. They’re pushing those who are playing, and that’s again why Tuesday night against Fleetwood was so important.
“We now have more players with 90 minutes who are genuinely ready. That’s when your starters know that if they take their foot off it there’s somebody waiting.”
And the manager’s approach to the weekend is fairly unique, in that he tends to train in Carlisle before setting off on the camel ride that awaits.
“The way I look at it is that I’d rather know what we’ve got because Friday is a really important day as far as I’m concerned,” he told us. “We want to train, and I like to know what facilities we have to do that.
“By training here I know I’ve got my changing room, a meeting room, a decent training pitch – I hope it stops raining mind because it’s been unreal today and there’s standing water everywhere – but we know what we have here and we know how to best use it.
“When you travel, and train somewhere on the way, you have the element of not knowing what the facility is like, what the pitch will be like, and all of the other factors that can affect your session.
“Timings can also come into it if you start to hit traffic, so there’s a lot to think about. There’s no point in complaining about any of these things, but you can do whatever you can to make it easier. That’s why I prefer to train here.”
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