Carlisle United just cannot find their way into the play-offs
The Cumbrians have been flirting with the play-offs for many months now, yet seem unable to string the wins together which would lift them into the top seven and this could ultimately see the side remain in League Two next season.
Last weekend, Keith Curle’s men welcomed Mansfield Town to Brunton Park, the home side confident that they could seal the three points against a Stags side who had managed a solitary win in their previous ten League Two outings.
Ninety minutes later it was the visitors who were triumphant and the pressure is now on the Cumbrians to return to winning ways, especially since the play-offs are tantalisingly close with a mere two points separating the side from seventh-placed AFC Wimbledon.
Close they may be, but failure to win on Saturday afternoon at Cambridge United could result in Carlisle losing more ground in their race for promotion.
Indeed, Cambridge have been stringing together some decent results and they too maintain hopes of finishing the season with a play-off place under their belts. They head into this match on the back of a 1-0 away win over Newport County and will be hopeful of extending their three-game unbeaten run with a win at the Abbey Stadium this weekend.
To be honest the omens aren’t too good for the travelling Cumbrians, given that they have failed to win on the road since late February, their last away victory coming at Morecambe’s Globe Arena. They have since drawn at Dagenham, Exeter and Yeovil with their last road trip ending in a 1-0 defeat at Portsmouth. Nevertheless, Keith Curle is confident that his side can manage something on their weekend travels, the Carlisle boss saying:
“I think it will be a lively encounter with two passionate managers driving their teams on. They’re competitive, but so are we. They score goals, and so do we. They concede goals, but so do we. They have a manager who likes winning games and so do I.
“We have a good understanding of how they play and I have a feeling it will be a ferocious encounter where neither team will want to take a backward step.
“We’ve got fantastic vocal support, so we won’t get out-shouted, and it will be a very competitive match. We go there knowing about the support we’re going to get and the pleasing thing is they know their players will go out there and compete.”
We’re not so optimistic however, given that the Cumbrians will be facing a Cambridge United side which have been on decent form at home recently, the last eight games at the Abbey Stadium seeing the hosts win four and draw two. As such, we can’t really see the Cumbrians managing anything for their troubles this weekend and whilst we anticipate the visitors finding the back of the net at some stage, it will prove little more than a consolation effort in what we believe will be three points for the home side.