'Excitement and nerves' - Paul Simpson looks ahead to Carlisle United play-off final Wembley trip

Carlisle United defeated Bradford City over two legs in the play-off semi final. Credit: PA

Carlisle United manager Paul Simpson has spoken of his mix of emotions ahead of the Blues trip to Wembley for the League Two play-off final.

United travel to the capital to take on Stockport County for a place in League One next season.

The Blues' will be backed by a large Carlisle support with at least 15,000 expected to make the trip to Wembley.

Simpson admits he has a mix of emotions ahead of the game but that he can not wait for the match to start.

Carlisle United boss Paul Simpson is excited ahead of the play-off final. Credit: PA

He said: "Excitement and nerves, it is a brilliant occasion to look forward to. I think we have had a really good week of preparation so far.

"I have got to give credit to all of the office staff who have been proper stars this week. It is now down to us to get the football side of things right. We need to try and make it a really positive day for the whole football club."

Simpson believes one of the key reasons for his return to the club was to create moments like these for the supporters and the city.

He said: "I think the way the whole city and the surrounding areas have come together has been absolutely magnificent. It is what I really hoped for when I came back because I knew that there was a real disconnect between different factions of the club.

"Everyone has come together though. You look at the game against Bradford and there was over 15,000 supporters in. The atmosphere and level of performance with the positive feeling after, that is what we are all in football for."

Since returning to the club last year he has transformed the clubs fortunes from fighting relegation to one match away from promotion.

He said that although he is pleased with the progress being made there is plenty more to come.

He said: "I have exceed expectations at this point now but not where I have targeted after three years. I wanted the club to be better and successful.

"We are getting close to some success and the club is definitely getting better. I still think there is a lot of working needing done to improve us.

Carlisle United face Stockport County for a spot in League One. Credit: PA

"I want it to be on the back of a promotion, we have done well but in my mind there is no place for coming second at Wembley. In a play-off final you have to win and you have to go up those steps as the victorious team."

Sunday will see Simpson face off against his son Jake Simpson, who is head of performance with Stockport County.

Speaking regarding his side playing against his son's he said: “We have had a chat but nothing to do with football. He is really down because the rules of Wembley are that no under 2s are allowed and we were really hoping to have my granddaughter there.

"There won’t be the full family support that we would like to get there. It is really going to be a great challenge. I really hope like the old days when we played football or cricket in the garden I am really hoping that dad wins again this weekend."

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