07 April 2023

Paul Simpson urges fans to keep turning out in force as Carlisle chase promotion

07 April 2023

Carlisle boss Paul Simpson hailed the club’s superb support and urged the fans to keep coming after their 2-0 win over Tranmere.

The biggest Cumbrian crowd since hosting Leeds back in 2007 – 13,410 – were treated to a Kristian Dennis brace as the hosts returned to the automatic promotion places in League Two with their first win in five.

Dennis bagged his 19th and 20th goals of the season as United took full advantage of Stevenage’s slip up as they went third.

“We wanted that support today and they’ve come in their numbers,” said Simpson, who is attempting to lead Carlisle back to League One for the first time in almost a decade.

“The biggest thing is that the players enjoyed it and put in a performance.

“We’ve got the result and that’s what it’s about, getting the result.

“What we hope is that those who are coming for the first time or not come for a few years, we hope it encourages them to come again.

“We want crowds coming in, we need crowds coming in. They’ve seen a winning team and a team that have gone third in the table, the players have done the business.

“We’ve got to keep that good feeling that we’ve got and hopefully it carries on.”

Carlisle’s win moved them on to 69 points, above Stevenage on goal difference. Second-placed Northampton are one point better off while Stockport, Bradford, Mansfield and Salford are also in the fight for automatic promotion.

“There’s going to be loads of twists and turns, we know that,” added Simpson.

“It’s become an 18-point mini league now. Hopefully the players understand what’s needed and what we want from them. The players are going to have to hurt for each other.”

Mid-table Rovers slumped to a 16th defeat of the campaign and are still waiting for a first win since the end of February.

That is a dismal run which has stretched to six games and caretaker boss Ian Dawes criticised his players for an “unacceptable” performance after Friday’s loss.

He said: “I’ll be honest, it’s unacceptable for a Tranmere performance, that’s not a Tranmere performance.

“I feel sorry for the fans who travelled and the fans sitting at home watching because that doesn’t represent what we are as staff and what we are as a group.

“There are players in there who do perform like Tranmere players, but there aren’t enough of those.

“There have been times this season where we’ve come up against physical, direct teams that we haven’t been able to match it.

“It hurts because Tranmere teams of the past have been the ones setting that tone of being aggressive and competing. It hurts inside.

“I hate to think what the true Tranmere fans think. They probably feel like me.

“It’s a mental thing. It’s your mentality to go and play football and compete for your club. That’s let us down all season.

“We don’t seem to have the players to do that, that’s a fact.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox