There is something quite refreshing about the way John Sheridan's Carlisle United team are playing at the moment.

The emphasis on going forward, which they showed again in beating Port Vale, is very welcome indeed.

This is less a criticism of previous seasons, and former manager Keith Curle, than the way football has gone in general over the years.

You do seem to get a lot of negative teams today. Possession football - yes, fair enough. We played that in my day. But I think it's gone too far in some cases; too many times when you see the ball sent back too deep, having been in the opposing half.

Sheridan's team are playing on the front foot and I sense the crowd are starting to appreciate it. There was certainly a positive feeling around Brunton Park on Tuesday.

The first half performance was very good, and I thought we deserved to be ahead at half-time. You always felt Port Vale would come into the game more in the second half, and although that spell lasted longer than we would have liked, they weren't creating great chances.

They weren't skinning people or getting round the back, and United didn't get dragged out of shape. I also thought the substitution, with George Glendon coming into the midfield, was good - it broke things up a bit, slowed Port Vale's momentum down, and that suited us.

One player I must give mention to is Kelvin Etuhu. He came into the game with a lot of potential, and came to the club last summer with high hopes, but after the Port Vale game I feel he is now in a position to really believe he can do it.

The manager has obviously seen something in him, and has put him in a good frame of mind. One or two of his shots were wayward but he isn't afraid to have a go.

I hope the way he played, and getting that man-of-the-match award, can be the big lift he needs.

The extra pace Sheridan has introduced through Jerry Yates and now Ashley Nadesan is also something the side needed. The more opponents try to contain that, the more space it can create for others around them.

Hallam Hope, on Tuesday, was also a real trouper in the way he worked up and down that left flank.

Seven points from four games is something I'm sure most would have settled for. It's a nice platform to build on.

Crewe, tomorrow's opponents, won 6-0 against Morecambe on the opening day yet lost by that margin against Colchester on Tuesday. It shows how unpredictable the division can be, but I do feel it should be a confidence booster for Carlisle to be facing a team who are on the back of such a heavy defeat.

Football is a mental thing in so many ways. Had Crewe won away three days ago, they would be heading to Brunton Park in a completely different frame of mind.

Another bright start by United, though, and with a bit of luck things could go their way again. A few more positive results and it will hopefully bring a few more fans back through the gates, too.