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Club News

The inside track on Carlisle United

14 October 2022

Club News

The inside track on Carlisle United

14 October 2022

Rovers travel to take on Carlisle United in Sky Bet League Two this weekend.

Gary McSheffrey’s side would climb above their hosts and into the play-off places with a win at Brunton Park.

Here we provide all the details on our latest opponents.

Manager

Paul Simpson returned for a second spell in charge of his hometown club in February after almost 16 years away. 

After starting his managerial career with Rochdale in 2002, Simpson led Carlisle to back-to-back promotions from the National League to League One. That success attracted interest from Preston North End, who he joined in the summer of 2006.

Despite missing out on the play-offs on goal difference on the final day of his first season at the club, Simpson departed Deepdale in November 2007. He has since had spells in charge of Shrewsbury Town, Stockport County and Northwich Victoria, before becoming assistant to Steve McLaren at both Derby County and Newcastle United.

He tasted success with the England U20s side, who he guided to glory in the U20 World Cup in 2017, before departing to take up the assistant manager’s position at Bristol City, which was his last role before rejoining Carlisle.

Form

The Blues are unbeaten in their past six league games and are yet to taste defeat on home soil this season. After battling to a goalless draw at Mansfield, they picked up a valuable three points at home to AFC Wimbledon on September 17.

They picked up another draw on the road at Newport County a week later, before beating Grimsby Town 2-1 to continue their good start to the campaign.

They have started October in similar fashion, backing up a draw at home to Crewe Alexandra with a 3-1 victory at Hartlepool United last time out to leave them in the fourth and final play-off spot.

Key men

Energetic midfielder Owen Moxon arrived at Brunton Park in the summer having spent the past three seasons north of the border with Annan Athletic.

The 24-year-old played almost 150 times for the Scottish club and helped them to promotion via the play-offs last season, before being snapped up by Carlisle.

He has added legs to the midfield unit this season, and has also chipped in with a couple of goals, one of which came in last weekend’s win at Hartlepool United.

Forward Jordan Gibson is now into his second season with Carlisle after joining the club in the summer of 2021 from Sligo Rovers.

Having come through the system at Rangers, Gibson’s first taste of English football came with Bradford City in 2017. He featured 29 times for the Bantams and also spent time out on loan with Stevenage before moving to Ireland.

Since returning to the EFL, the 24-year-old has settled in well and if selected, will make his 60th appearance for Carlisle against Rovers on Saturday.

Experienced striker Kristian Dennis joined Carlisle in January and has already established himself as a key man in Paul Simpson’s plans. 

The 32-year-old impressed with Macclesfield and then Chesterfield over the course of three seasons, before signing for Notts County in 2018. Despite scoring 15 goals in 29 league starts for the Magpies, Dennis moved north of the border to join St. Mirren in the summer of 2020, but struggled for regular starts at St. Mirren Park.

He has already scored eight goals for the Cumbrians this season, including one in each of his first five appearances. He is also approaching the 100-goal mark in his career.

Last league meeting

Carlisle ran out 2-1 winners when the two sides last met in the league back in February 2017. Nicky Adams gave the hosts a first half lead, before an own goal from Niall Mason sealed the win. Tommy Rowe pulled a late goal back for Rovers at Brunton Park.

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