MANAGER: It's absolutely fantastic news for the football club

Manager Paul Simpson spoke to us about the news that the Piatak family had taken over at Brunton Park.

“It’s absolutely fantastic news for the football club,” he said. “It feels like it’s been going on for ages. I think firstly it would be wrong not to give praise to the board of directors who brought me back to the club and who have been looking after this football club for donkey’s years.

“I dread to think how many years combined they’ve been here, but they’ve been fantastic for me. I know they’ve came in for a bit of criticism, but the truth is I don’t know where this football club would have been and if there would have been a football club without them. They’ve been loyal to this place and put so many hours into the place, they’ve done a magnificent job. I think the other credit they need is the fact they’ve realised it’s time to hand it over and pass it on to somebody else.

“It’s the Piatak family who have got the honour of taking it forward and I’m really optimistic for what the future of this football club can look like. I’m delighted with the enthusiasm they’ve shown and everybody can say there’s no connection to Carlisle because they aren’t supporters, but I can tell you they’ve got so much enthusiasm for how they want to take this club forward and how they want to try and develop it.

“They want to help me and the rest of the staff to put a group of players together, and now the challenge is who is prepared to go and roll their sleeves up and come along on the journey. This is the start of the new one, I talked about it when I first came back about getting on board, and it’s been brilliant so far and now we have an opportunity to go again.

“We have an opportunity to really go and hold our own at League One. The first challenge is that we’ve got to stay at this level. We’re now in a position where we’re looking at a different pool of players which will hopefully be able to take us forward.

“When you get a change like this, there’s two ways you can go as a player. You can worry because there’s new players coming in and get a bit nervous about it. Or you can go, right, this is a brilliant challenge because we’ve got new players and I’m going to show I want to be part of it. I want the latter, I want them all to be wanting to be a part of this football club. I want to be a part of it, and I know we need to get wins. Saturday would be a brilliant place to start, let’s take all of the excitement and enthusiasm into Saturday’s game and just give it everything we’ve got to go and get the three points.”

The Piatak family have shown real enthusiasm, and the manager is looking forward to starting to work closely with them going forward: “Without a doubt. I don’t want anybody to think I’m being disrespectful to the owners who have just left, but Tom, Patty and the rest of the family are so enthusiastic and they are buzzing.

“They can’t wait to get in, I think if it wasn’t for Thanksgiving they would have been on a flight over here already. I exchanged messages with Tom yesterday and he was saying he was going home from work to pack and get ready to come over. I hope they have a fantastic celebration today and I know they’re really looking forward to getting over.

“The football club is full of boxes of things they’ve had delivered to make changes to try and improve the look of the place. We’ve had decorators in, we’ve had new branding going up and the plans are in place to try and upgrade everything. I know what supporters are like, and all of that is nice, it’s nice we’ve got canopies over them in the fan zone, but they want players. They want a team they can be proud of, or prouder of, but we know we need results to make them even prouder. If we can do that we’ll fly up the table and be in a much more comfortable position where we can start looking to the future.”

With Saturday’s game against Charlton set to see the biggest crowd of the season, is it important for the players to focus on the football?

“It’s really easy to say that but we’re human beings and it’s really difficult. The football is the most important thing, but the day will also be about a celebration. We can all celebrate and thank the previous board and we can also look forward to what’s going to come.

“I’m quite sure the family will go onto the pitch at some point to introduce themselves and I’m sure they’ll get an incredible Cumbrian ovation when they come out. Looking at the forecast I hope they bring their big coats and they’re ready for it!

“This weekend is about that celebration and we’ve got to make sure we do the football side of it right. There’s no point in me saying the players need to forget that side of things and just focus on the game because it doesn’t happen. We have to accept that there might be a distraction, but we have to make sure the distraction doesn’t deter from the performance.”

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