'Group needs strengthening' - Paul Simpson admits to struggles in transfer market

Carlisle United currently sit in the relegation zone in League One. Credit: PA

Carlisle United manager Paul Simpson has insisted every game his side is involved in this season is "massive" but explains how the "group needs strengthening."

The Blues suffered a 3-1 defeat away to Leyton Orient in the first round of the FA Cup.

Paul Simpson's side currently sit in the relegation zone in League One following an inconsistent start to the season so far.

United next take on Bristol Rovers at Brunton Park on Saturday and Simpson is looking for his players to bounce back from losing their last two games away from home.

The Blues take on Bristol Rovers at Brunton Park on Saturday. Credit: PA

Speaking to the Carlisle United website, Simpson said: "We have to, we’ve got huge games coming up. One of the players said in the dressing room after the game that we’ve got a massive game coming up, but they’re all massive games and they’ve all been massive games up to this point that we haven’t dealt with properly.

“It’s only going to come from this group unless something materialises over the next few days. It’s this group of players.

"Paul Huntington will come back into it because he was off with a sickness bug. Taylor Charters is still weeks away, Jack Ellis will only go back on the grass next week and JJ Kayode is still weeks away, so this is what we’ve got, and we just need to roll our sleeves up, dig deep and try to find a solution.

“We couldn’t fill the bench on Saturday and that’s a huge concern. It’s not an ideal situation but it’s where we are and the situation we’re in. We just have to deal with it."

Simpson provided an update to the injury status of his squad. Credit: PA

Simpson's side have struggled to put a consistent run of wins together so far this season with the Blues boss admitting that he is still in the market to try and improve his squad.

He said: "I think it’s blatantly obvious to everybody that this group needs strengthening. Absolutely blatantly obvious. We were fishing in a pond of a certain financial bracket in the summer, and we hope that we’ll be fishing in a different pond, because this has to improve.

“One of the things, and it’s come from the players in there, if we don’t do something about it, our careers are going to be gone. And they will. That’s what happens.

“I just got a list of 15 Championship players who have not got a club at the moment, just recently, and there are some good players on it.

“But their careers have stood still and maybe even gone, because they could be 6-12 months without playing football and where do you go from there? If you don’t realise – and this is me as well, as a manager – if we don’t do something about it quickly, the opportunity will go.”

Carlisle United currently sit in 21st in League One. Credit: PA

“I lean on the fact that I believe that I’ve got the ability to be able to turn it around,” he continued. “I lean on the fact that we have an opportunity hopefully when this takeover comes to actually go and strengthen our squad, because the current board pushed themselves to the limit to get what we were able to get this summer.

“I can only thank them for that. We have an opportunity to make it better. I’ve said we’re fishing in a different financial pond, we still have the challenge of whether the players will come to us."

Simpson has admitted that in recent weeks he has been struggling to attract free agents, who are still without clubs from the summer, to come to the club.

He said: "Even at the moment when I’ve been trying to get players in over the last couple of weeks, who are freedom of contract players, which is a gamble in itself because they’ve not been playing for a team and are not match fit, we still can’t get them to come in.

“We’ve still got the huge challenge to get them to come in. The league position doesn’t encourage people to want to come and get involved in it. But I’m going to keep fighting to do everything I can. I want the football club to be better and I want our results to be better.”

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