Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cumbrians Lacking That Cutting Edge; Third Straight Loss Highlights Carlisle's Problems

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cumbrians Lacking That Cutting Edge; Third Straight Loss Highlights Carlisle's Problems

Article excerpt

IT'S fair to say pre-season results haven't quite matched the levels of optimism generated by the nine impressive summer signings made by Carlisle United as consecutive defeats against Barrow, Bury and Bradford City - 2-0 on Saturday - have left them with much to ponder.

Long periods of good possession in each of the fixtures suggest there are better things to come - but a lack of creativity in the final third will have to be addressed before Curle's new charges make the long trip to face promotion favourites Portsmouth in the season opener next Saturday.

Carlisle dominated the first half of their latest dry run at Valley Parade but a flying header from Nicky Adams, which whipped just past the post, was the closest they came as they looked pleasing on the eye but worryingly lacking in punch.

A fierce free-kick from Danny Grainger, blocked by the goalkeeper with a full-length dive, was as much as the second half brought in terms of threat as the Blues worked hard for little reward.

Manager Keith Curle said. "Physically we are where we would expect to be at this stage.

"We're playing good football but we do want to see more in the attacking third.

"We've played very good teams from higher divisions this week and they've given us a real test.

"The encouraging thing is we held our own and, if we iron out the little mistakes we've been making, we'll be a match for anyone. The goals we conceded against Bradford came when we had possession and we gave it away cheaply. Teams with quality will always punish that."

The lively Filipe Morais thrashed a volley from a Marshall cross into the net to open the scoring at the start of the second half, when the Blues defence got themselves into a tangle, and an error from Adams opened space for Morais to exploit as he turned provider to feed Hanson for a second killer goal.

Defender Mark Ellis said. …

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