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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Carlisle United call for Mike to make a clean start

Mike Edwards hopes he can win over the Carlisle United boo-boys after helping the Blues to their first clean sheet in 19 games.

Edwards heroically cleared the ball off the line in United’s 3-0 win over Hartlepool to preserve what was only their third shut-out of the season.

The 32-year-old central defender today revealed his despair at the way the Cumbrians have leaked goals this season, giving him a tough introduction to life at Brunton Park following his summer switch from Notts County.

Carlisle have the joint worst defensive record in League One, along with Scunthorpe and Hartlepool, after conceding 43 goals in 23 games, which has piled pressure on Edwards and his fellow defenders.

The former Hull City and Grimsby defender admitted it was a massive relief to finally keep a clean sheet against bottom side Hartlepool on Wednesday – a rare feat which has given him and his team-mates a much-needed confidence boost.

“Results haven’t been great for us so the win over Hartlepool was a great boost,” said Edwards. “There was a fair bit of pressure on us all going into the game, but we took a good performance against Shrewsbury into it, and it was great to get three points and a clean sheet.

“As a team we worked hard to keep them down to zero and it was a good three points.

“It has been a frustrating time all round and there is still a long way to go to put things right. As players we are our harshest critics and the way things have been going has been tough, so it is nice to get a positive result and hopefully we can now get a run going.

“When the goals were going in against Hartlepool, we could relate to their players as that’s how things have been for us. We’ve always known we have quality but there has maybe been an issue with confidence. Things have been disappointing. I’m very self critical and it’s been tough, to be fair. Nobody wants those kind of results, we want to be at the right end of the table. But we are sticking together and working hard to put things right.”

Carlisle are now hoping to secure their first back-to-back victories of the season when they host third bottom Bury today. Only a 90th minute equaliser from Joe Garner secured Carlisle a 1-1 draw at Bury in October, and Edwards insists they will have to continue to demonstrate greater defensive resolve against a team fighting for its life in the bottom four.

He said: “Because of the position they are in, they are going to be fighting from the start and we have to be ready for that.

“Bury work hard for each other and keep going until the end, and can put you under a fair bit of pressure.

“The result against Hartlepool will give us a lot of confidence going into this next game against Bury, and we want to push on.

“We are all committed and working hard to put a run together as we want to be up there and fighting for the right things in football.

“It would be great to get back-to-back wins and get a run going to move up the table. It is going to be a tough game as there are no foregone conclusions in football.”

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