John Sheridan: Fixing Carlisle’s Foundations

Despite a turbulent summer, at board level and below, Carlisle are now starting to find their feet in an up-beat couple of weeks.

Four wins in the last five in League Two have excelled the Cumbrian’s from 20th place up to fourth, sitting just three points off fast starters Lincoln.

Without getting too carried away, Carlisle have definitely turned a corner in what was a tough rebuilding process in the summer and after two defeats in three opening games the team certainly looked scarce of quality and resourcefulness.

A poor defensive record has faded over recent weeks, though comical errors still look a possibly in a back line missing last seasons talisman Clint Hill.

It was, nevertheless, one of manager John Sheridan’s main concerns to bring in a central defender and despite early concerns over Anthony Gerrard, valued experience will be key to replicate that in the ranks last season.

Last time out the trip to Cambridge was fruitful for a Carlisle side fashioning the “grapefruit” purple way strip, winning 2-1.

On return to home comforts this weekend Carlisle will hope to continue their fine form, and to the more positive picture Sheridan is so far creating.

What else needs adding to the puzzle though?

Defensive Dilemmas

One positive to the ears of many may be that Carlisle now have enough viable options in each position, and in the process giving Sheridan a selection headache.

On the other hand, not all the options have proved they can cement a starting spot.

Right-back Gary Miller has fallen to the bench as the ever-versatile Gary Liddle has filled that birth, Anthony Gerrard has face some struggles in the starting lineup, and lastly young Macaulay Gillesphey hasn’t always impressed Sheridan enough in his first season after recent academy football.

All in all, from ten goals conceded in the first three games, a much more solid record of just the five in the last six games certainly shows viable improvement.

Nadesan’s knack and Bennett’s bullet’s

At the start of the season Carlisle looked worryingly short of attacking quality, nonetheless, the loan acquisition of previous favourite Ashley Nadasen has rejuvenated the front line.

The young attacker from Fleetwood certainly shows just how well John Sheridan has delved into the market, with such little funds available for the credentials and aims he has for the club.

Along with the likes of George Glendon and Jack Sowerby, Nadasen has arrived from Sheridans former team as a trusted talent, known to both his manager and the home fans.

In a loan spell late last season Nadasen impressed for the Blues, enough to earn him a call in desperate times for Carlisle in a flat transfer window.

Up alongside him in attack is the sheer presence of former Barrow goalscorer Richie Bennett.

Despite not being the full package, and having many fans on his back for poor performances last season, the striker is certainly a handful and another headed goal helped Carlisle to victory on Saturday.

Even though they are a nowhere near a finished article, things for now are looking up for Carlisle United and the John Sheridan revolution is looking like it may be bright rather than bleak, although time will tell!


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