There’s no dressing it up: it’s been a bad start for Carlisle United, losing two cup games 3-1 and 3-0, and their opening league game 3-0. The only team in League Two that’s had a worse start is Southend, and we play them at home tomorrow.

They were beaten 4-0 at home by Harrogate last Saturday. I watched the goals. Southend look like a team in trouble. I think they’re the next Macclesfield. They seem to be in disarray, on and off the pitch. They just look like a team of young boys.

I think the fixtures might have been kind to us. If we can’t get a result against Southend, that would be a cause for concern.

If we do get a good result, sometimes that’s all it takes to make players believe in themselves. You get a good win and you start to do things more naturally without over-thinking it. Mentally, one good result can kick-start a season. Winning and losing both become a habit.

When I was at Oldham and we won the Division Three title, we were never out of the top two all season. The longer it went on, the more it became a habit. We didn’t expect to lose.

Chris Beech talked about his players being “too nice” at Cambridge last Saturday. You need lads who are skilful. You also need two or three that are vocal and get the rest of the lads going. Maybe some of them are still in their shell after coming to a new club. But that’s got to come out.

Some fans have suggested we need more creativity, and there have been rumours about Jamie Devitt coming back. When he first came to Carlisle it took him a while. When it clicked, he became a match-winner. He used to set things up as well as being an individual performer. He was a real bright spark. You don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. But in my view he’d be a hell of an asset.

Carlisle have applied to have 1,000 fans in against Southend. At the time of writing I don’t know if that’s been approved. Even 1,000 would be a quarter of the gate revenue they normally get and it would give a little bit of atmosphere rather than a dead stadium. I’d love to go, but if it happens I’d rather let a real diehard who’s never missed a game for years have the place.

It will be strange for me to miss a home match. I usually get there at about quarter past two and sit with Hugh McIlmoyle and his wife. I enjoy the crack before the game. I mingle with the same 20 or 30 people and say hello to others.

It’s interesting to hear people’s views on different aspects of the game, as well as Carlisle United.

I’ve talked to two or three season-ticket holders. One had been a season-ticket holder for 60 years. He couldn’t get his usual seat this season so he hasn’t taken the ticket. I suppose that’s the mentality when you’ve had one for that long. And the longer this goes on, the more some fans will find other things to do.

The sooner things get back to normal the better.