Simmo issues pre-season challenge to returning Carlisle United players

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Tristan Abrahams, left, and Taylor Charters, right, are back from loan spells (photos: PA / Barbara Abbott)
Tristan Abrahams, left, and Taylor Charters, right, are back from loan spells (photos: PA / Barbara Abbott)

Paul Simpson has urged players returning to Carlisle United from loan spells to grab their chance to impress.

While the Blues boss has denied pre-season forms a “clean slate” for all his squad, those who have yet to figure under the manager have a fresh opportunity.

Striker Tristan Abrahams and versatile Cumbrian Taylor Charters spent the second half of last season out on loan.

They come back into the fold now as United count down to their first pre-season friendly against Penrith this Friday.

Abrahams helped Grimsby Town gain promotion back to the Football League via the National League play-offs, while Charters - handed a new deal by the Blues this summer - contributed to Gateshead’s National League North title win.

Simpson, speaking to the club website, said: “Every player has to be at it.

“I think I’d be a bit naïve if I thought it was a clean slate [for everyone] because I’ve seen them all for 15 games, just over ten weeks, but we now do have some new players coming in.

“Along with the new signings, Taylor Charters will come back into it and Tristan Abrahams will come back into it, so we’ve got those players who were away through the second half of the season in the time I was here, and I suppose it’s a bit of a clean slate for them in a way.

“But it’s one of those things where they’ve all got to show that they deserve to play.”

Simpson has so far added four new faces this summer, with Owen Moxon, Tomas Holy, Sonny Hilton and Ryan Edmondson all hoping to be involved in United’s opening friendly at Frenchfield Park on Friday.

He remains on the trail of other additions, whilst continuing to run the rule over trialists – as well as monitoring Jamie Devitt’s claims for a new deal in training.

Simpson has spelled out his wish to have more players at his disposal who can influence games from the start rather than the bench.

“Last season I didn’t feel as though I had a group of starters,” he said.

“I call them ‘starters and finishers’, that’s something I took from the FA, and that’s about having a group of players who can come on and finish a game.

“Now, they’re really important, but what I want is a bigger group of players who I believe can start for us.

“We’ve got to get as many players into this football club who are good enough to start games. That’s not just good enough to sit on the bench and make up the seven finishers, they’ve got to be good enough to come and start for us. That’s what I want to try and get.”

Simpson, meanwhile, will join club directors at a fans’ forum at Brunton Park on Thursday.

Co-owners John Nixon and Steven Pattison will face questions from supporters along with chief executive Nigel Clibbens, finance director Suzanne Kidd, CUOSC director Billy Atkinson and shareholder and Holdings director Lord Clark.

Absent from the panel again, though, are chairman Andrew Jenkins and Holdings director John Jackson from lenders Purepay Retail Limited.

The event from 6.30-8pm is free to attend and non season-ticket holders can now book their places via seasontickets@carlisleunited.co.uk

READ MORE: Ticket details for Carlisle United friendlies against Bolton Wanderers, Morecambe and more

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