The Opposition View: Carlisle United

Last updated : 02 April 2015 By Jim Bonner

What's your assessment of Carlisle's season so far and what are the chances of your team avoiding relegation?

It's been pretty shocking to be honest. We suspected we might have been in for a disappointing season but only the most wildly pessimistic among us thought we'd be in a relegation battle. As for avoiding the drop, I don't see us going on a run and rescuing ourselves, so we just have to hope the teams below us, particularly Tranmere and Cheltenham are as bad as us or worse over the remaining games.

What does the future hold for your club with new owners imminent?

Nobody really knows at the moment. It's unlikely we'll see sweeping changes, or a huge increase in finances. The current owners will remain with a reduced stake and we'll have a bit of money to play with. At the moment I'd be relieved if all it meant was (assuming we stay up this season) we finish safely in mid-table next season. But after that we want to see some more forward-thinking from the new guys, who have so far shown that this is what they intend to do. There are going to be a large number of investors so hopefully this will mean lots of new ideas.

Who are the key players in the Carlisle squad?

The only real stand-out performances this season have been from our youth-team products. Kyle Dempsey in particular who is in his first season as a professional and has scored 7 goals from midfield and even captained the club on one occasion at the age of 19. Brad Potts came through the youth set-up a couple of seasons ago and has also scored 7 from midfield. Potts may be injured but Dempsey should play, any of the other players may or may not contribute to proceedings on the day.

What are the biggest strengths and weaknesses in your team?

We score a reasonable amount of goals. More than 3 teams in the top 7 so far this season. The goals come from a range of players too. No-one has more than 10 goals for the season but we have 6 players on 5 or more. Our biggest problem has been defence, and it's been this way for several seasons now.

We have one pretty good centre-back in Troy Archibald-Henville but the rest of our defensive options have either been inconsistent or consistently poor and we don't know how to use our midfield to protect them. Pompey fans will be pleased to learn that Troy is suspended for this game.

Are there any players in the current Portsmouth squad that give you cause for concern?

Any kind of attacking threat you pose will concern us and Matt Tubbs has shown already he can score against us this season. If you have good wingers you will have a field day against us.

What kind of match can we expect on Good Friday?

Going off recent games, a fairly tentative performance from us. We did go through a spell where we were scoring and conceding lots of goals but that seems to have eased off now and like other teams down at the bottom end, matches have become cagey affairs where we're more scared of conceding than anything else. We can be vulnerable after we've conceded though, so should Pompey score then the floodgates could open.

Predict the outcome of the game.

I can't see us winning, I reckon it will be 3-1 to Portsmouth.