Gavin Skelton insists Carlisle United are in a “better place” than this time last year – and that they can afford to be patient with more signings.

The Blues assistant boss claims the squad is looking “strong” at this stage of pre-season.

And the Cumbrian says United are not scrambling to add lots more numbers to their ranks – and can instead be careful with any further additions.

The Blues still want to bring in another goalkeeper while the trial handed to Manasse Mampala suggests they are open to adding to their attack.

But Skelton said: “I feel we’re in a good place.

“This is the easy part – no pressure, no three points at stake – but I feel you could see [at Penrith on Tuesday] the squad looks strong, [and that’s] with two or three injuries.

“There’s no panic. If you add one or two [more], there’s no stress for that and we only want to bring players in that will improve us and are not just a number.

“They’ve been together, some of them, a year now. That’s pleasing.”

United are preparing for a double-header this Saturday with one Blues XI going to Borough Park to take on Workington Reds, and another side heading to Hebburn Town.

Skelton highlighted the fact that, unlike last summer when Carlisle needed a glut of signings, the squad has not required an overhaul this time.

That, he suggested, lends itself to greater stability as United build up towards the 2021/22 season.

“I know everyone says in interviews it’s been a great pre-season, but it has been [so far],” the coach told the News & Star.

“You really see that, from the start of last season, I feel we’re in abetter place.

“But it’s alright feeling it, it’s when the real stuff starts that it matters.

“But we’ve got a group together and we’re building on it rather than starting it, and hopefully that’s a positive sign.”