Saturday brought first appearances for the Blues for keeper Jokull Andresson and forward Terry Ablade, with both players having arrived on-loan to Cumbria during the summer.
“I felt it was time for a change in goal,” manager Paul Simpson said. “I’ve watched Jokull in training, I like his enthusiasm, I felt it was time for a change. That’s the reason I did it.
“Now it’s up to Tomas. He’s had an incredible run in the first team in league games, whatever number it is, 53 consecutive games if you include play-offs. I felt it was the right time to change it.
“Tomas doesn’t agree with me, no player ever agrees when they get left out, but I have to make those decisions.
“I feel for Jokull that he’s had to concede that penalty, he should never have been put in that position, but I thought he made a brilliant one v one save to keep it at 1-0.
“Hopefully he’ll get even better. He’s got good organisation behind him, good energy about him, and I felt it was something that needed to be done.”
“Like I say, I’m interested to see how Tomas reacts to it. There were times where I could have done it earlier, this season and last season, but I stuck with him because I felt he was our number one and he needed backing.
“I was at a point where I felt I needed to change it this time. We’ve just got to wait and see what we decide to do from here.
“We lost a game we feel we shouldn’t have but we have to get on with it and live with it now. We’ve got a long week ahead of us to actually digest that and try to make things better.
“There’s a huge frustration with how I feel at the moment because I really do think we’ve gifted three points away, and we didn’t do enough to score goals to finish things off.”
In to help with that is Fulham forward Terry Ablade.
“We didn’t put Terry in the areas where he’s going to show us what he’s really about on Saturday,” he told us. “I expect he’ll cause problems because of his pace and ability.
“Hopefully we can get him a bit fitter. He did about 60 minutes on Wednesday, he was absolutely shattered, so it’s too early to throw him straight into it.
“Around the club he’s been really good, very positive, he’s got a real good attitude to stuff and a real determination to do well.
“I thought there were bits in the game at Blackburn where he’s shown a turn of pace where he’s gone quicker than anybody else has ever ran in our team in my time at the club, making an overlap past Jack Ellis.
“He’s got electric pace. We have got to find a way to use that pace, but the truth is, we’ve got to find a way to use all our front players better than we are, in terms of Sean Mguire, in terms of Ryan Edmondson, Luke Plange, Dan Butterworth.
“We’ve got players here who have ability, who have capabilities of scoring goals. Unfortunately we’re not giving them enough to go and feed off. I honestly do believe, and people might be starting to lose faith in what I’m saying, but I honestly believe we’ve got players who can score goals, who can cause problems. We need to start doing it soon.”
Not in the 18 on Saturday was Joe Garner, who stayed behind to do extra work.
“That was down to the mix I wanted on the bench,” he told us. “I had a conversation with Joe on Thursday where I said look, I’d like you in the squad, I’m happy for you to come, but you’re not going to be on the bench because of the mix I’m doing, so would you rather stay at home and do some work or travel down.
“He said he’d rather stay at home and do his work, and come back in on Monday. I’ve got no issue with that. He’s a senior player, if they’re not going to be involved I always give them that opportunity of working back at home rather than sitting as the nineteenth man.
“There’s nothing in it, it’s just a case of the mix I wanted on the bench and Joe wasn’t part of that.”