Carlisle United vs Stevenage: Paul Simpson talks opponents, promotion and season so far

24/02/22. Paul Simpson, Carlisle United manager. Carlisle United.
Carlisle United manager Paul Simpson.

Carlisle United manager Paul Simpson says a good result against third-placed Stevenage could put them in a "proper position to go and challenge".

The Blues go into the game at Brunton Park two points and one position below their opponents as they continue their promotion push.

Paul Simpson is delighted with how the season has gone so far, with United winning the last four league games.

“It has been fantastic, it really has," he told ITV Border.

"We are really getting to the crux of the season with 11 to go. We talked all season about giving ourselves a chance with 10 to go, so this is the last one of those where we can really put ourselves in a proper position to go and challenge.

"Training has been good and the players all seem really up for it. I am certainly looking forward to a great challenge."

Late drama

Carlisle secured a 2-1 away win at Swindon Town last Saturday thanks to a winner in the 96th-minute courtesy of Ryan Edmondson, who had missed the last three months due to injury.

“It certainly gives you a massive boost," continued Simpson.

"In footballing terms, fairytales don’t happen in March, for me, they happen at the end of the season.

"That is so far away from being a fairytale last weekend, it was brilliant. It was a fantastic finish. To do it in front of our supporters made it even sweeter.

"There is so much to go for, so much more to play. We are delighted with what we have done after 35 games but we need to do the last 11 properly and Stevenage at home is the first one we can do something about."

Home advantage could be crucial

Simpson believes playing in front of his own supporters could be the difference on Saturday.

“It is only a good thing being at home if we do it properly," he said.

"That is the way I look at every game, we have to go about our business right. We have had a good week at training, the players have rested and worked hard, they are ready to go and we have done the final bits of preparation.

"I would say that we would be ready even if we were playing away from home. We have got the bonus of it being at Brunton Park and in front of our own supporters.

"I have heard that there has been an incredible response to come and back us, which has been brilliant.

"Regardless of whether we were home or away, I would be saying we were coming into this game full of confidence and going to give ourselves the best chance of trying to beat Stevenage."

Easter ticket deal

The Carlisle United manager has welcomed the club's offer of £10 tickets for their game against Tranmere Rovers on Good Friday.

“I think it is fantastic, I think it is a great idea. I don’t know who came up with it but it was a brilliant idea," he said.

"The response has been incredible as well from local businesses or people wanting to get involved.

"It is really important. If we are going to try and achieve something we want everybody to be a part of it.

"I go back to last February and I said come and get on the journey with us and see where it takes us and we still don’t know where it is going to take us but we have given ourselves a really good chance of having a good end to the season.