United face Workington in the quarter-finals of the Fred Conway Cumberland Cup at Borough Park on Tuesday, with some first-team members set to be involved.
But the final mix of youth and seniors won’t be decided until after the day’s training session.
“I will be cautious,” he said. “There’s a few of them who need some minutes, but there isn’t going to be many of them.
“I want to get through in the Cumberland Cup, I want to respect the competition, but we’ve got bigger fish to fry. I need to make sure we have a group that’s available for the weekend game at Swindon.
“I’m disappointed to have to say that we are going to have to be cautious. I’ve got a lot of respect for the competition and I want us to stay in it.
“But we do have bigger fish to fry with the game at Swindon our next focus, so I want to make sure we have a full group available for that.
“There will be some senior boys who will be involved in it but I think it will be predominantly made up of our youth team players.
“For the younger lads it’s an opportunity for them to show us what they’re all about. It’s going to be a tough one for us.
“A few weeks ago when the original game was planned we had a very strong side, but we have too many injuries at the moment.”
For second year scholar Kai Nugent it’s set to be a strange night, with his loan agreement allowing him to play for the Blues against his current team mates.
“He will play for us, yes, it’s as simple as that,” he confirmed. “It’s an opportunity for me to be able to see Kai and see what he’s about.
“I think from the reports I’m getting that he’s doing really well for Workington but he will be playing for Carlisle United and hopefully he shows us what he can do.
“It’s a big test for him, it’s a test of his character to have to do this because he’s going to come up against lads who he is playing with every week. We’re his bread and butter, this is where his contract is, so we’ll see.
“I’m saying he’s going to be involved, but I don’t know if he’ll start because I haven’t started thinking about what the team is going to definitely be.
“I’ll have a conversation with Gav and decide who we think needs to play. We’ll find out if Ben Barclay, Jamie Devitt and Ryan Edmondson will benefit from minutes, and the plan is still to get Josh Dixon on for 15 or 20 minutes, if the game allows that.”