Paul Simpson previews Portsmouth match and Owen Moxon's return to Brunton Park

Carlisle United currently sit bottom of League One. Credit: PA

Carlisle United manager Paul Simpson wants the attention to be focused on his players ahead of Owen Moxon's return to the club in a Portsmouth shirt.

Moxon transferred from Brunton Park to the south coast in January with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.

The midfielder was pivotal for Paul Simpson's side last campaign as they were promoted via the playoffs into League One.

Speaking about Moxon's return to Brunton Park, Simpson said: "It is the nature of football isn’t it. I am sure he is not looking forward to coming back so early into it.

Owen Moxon was central to the success the Blues had last season. Credit: ITV

"Owen Moxon was a really good player for us, particularly in what we achieved last season. He has moved on and gone to a club that has got the potential to go to the Championship, so we can’t knock him for that.

"I want us to focus on our players, the players that can affect what we can do this weekend. Whether Owen Moxon is up against us is irrelevant, it is about our players performing and hopefully getting the right result."

Portsmouth are top of the division and have 18 wins from 31 matches played this season. They have suffered just four defeats all campaign and Simpson is expecting a tough game on Saturday.

He said: "The are a footballing side and play good football. They have got pace in forward areas particularly in wide areas and they have got experience in there.

"They have got a goalscorer who I don’t think is top scorer but is in the top three or four, with 15 goals. We are expecting a tough game but what I want from us is us to show that we can make life difficult for teams.

The Blues host Portsmouth at Brunton Park on Saturday. Credit: PA

"When we went down to Portsmouth we actually played okay on the day and got done by a late goal from a corner. We have got to get the level of performance right, we have got to get the level of enthusiasm right. We have got to be physical and make it really difficult for Portsmouth and give ourselves a lift.

"Regardless of the league table we have got to start getting results. We have got to start putting on performances that our fans are proud of because I will be honest so far we haven’t done that on too many occasions."

The Blues currently sit bottom of League One with just four wins from 30 matches played this season.

Simpson states that he knew the season was going to be hard but has been more of a challenge than what he was expecting.

He said: "It has obviously been tougher than what I was expecting, I knew it was going to be a tough season.

Paul Simpson believes this season has been a "frustrating one." Credit: PA

"It has been a difficult one, a disappointing one, a frustrating one but the good thing about football at this moment in time is that we have still got games that we can actually affect it. That is the only thing we can think about.

"We are going into a game this weekend against a team that are top of the league. They are 43 points better off than us at this stage of the season so that shows the difference in the levels.

"What I would say is it is an absolutely fantastic challenge for us and it is a great game to look forward to it is a game that we have an opportunity to show our true self because I don’t think we have shown our true self over the season."

On the pitch things may not be positive for the Blues but off the field that is a sense of positivity around the club.

Manager Simpson has been full of praise by the behind the scene work going on at the club.

He said: "The things that are going on are fantastic. There are so many changes that are a foot.

"They have made changes outside in the fan zone, they have got the big screen and there are lots of movement to make that a permanent fixture. Even all of the banners that they have put up are bringing a lot of personality to the stadium, the plans for the Warwick Road End there are loads of positive things.

Paul Simpson was full of praise for the Piatak family since their takeover of the club. Credit: Stuart Walker

"I actually think in terms of the playing squad there are lots of positive going on there to make us better. We have to learn from the experience that we have had this season and hope that as we move forward we are in an even stronger position.

“I certainly don’t think the supporters are happy with what is going on in terms of the football, I don’t think any of us are.

"We all understand the position that we are in. The takeover from the Piatak family has made such a massive difference to Carlisle United.

"It is a little bit unfortunate that it happened so late into this season or that we weren’t able to affect the group for the first half of the season. They knew what they were letting themselves in for, they knew the challenges we were facing but thankfully they are really getting their hands dirty and getting stuck into all of these things."

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