Lewis Walters will get his first chance to convince John Sheridan he is worth a Carlisle United deal when the trialist plays against former club Barrow tonight.

The former Nottingham Forest forward is set to feature in Sheridan's first game in charge at Holker Street (kick-off 7.45pm).

Walters, who had a loan spell with the National League club last season, has been training with Sheridan's squad for over a week.

Assistant manager Tommy Wright confirmed that the 23-year-old would play some part against the Bluebirds.

"He has trained well, looked sharp [yesterday morning] especially, so it's a chance for him to impress John," said the Carlisle No2.

Walters may be the only trialist to get an outing tonight, with Wright saying there were no other contract hopefuls on the immediate horizon.

As the wait for more signings continues, meanwhile, the game could see a first Blues outing for new faces Gary Miller, George Glendon and Joe Fryer, while fellow summer recruits Adam Collin and Macaulay Gillesphey could make their first appearances of their second and third Carlisle spells respectively.

Wright admitted United were still "a bit thin on the ground" in squad size as they head for their first of six pre-season games.

The coach also said a couple of players may be absent tonight after picking up knocks in training.

On the pursuit of more signings, Sheridan's right-hand man added: "We're trying but everybody likes to keep their cards close to their chest at the moment, saying, 'We'll let him out in another week, maybe two'.

"A lot of higher teams, for example in the Championship, like to keep players for a couple of weeks, so they can do their fitness tests and so on.

"That's the response we are getting, but we are quite optimistic on a couple."

Wright expects a tough start to United's build-up to the new campaign when they face Ian Evatt's Barrow side.

"I'm sure it will be competitive," the Scot said. "That's the best [preparation] you want in getting ready for the season ahead.

"You could play somebody and win five or six-nil but do you get a lot out of that? I'm not sure.

"I'm sure both teams will want to win but at the end of the day it's a pre-season game and you have to take that into account.

"I've been to Barrow a few times and it can be quite intimidating, plus they have a new manager who they will be wanting to do well for, as do our players.

"I don't know what the pitch will be like after all the hot and dry weather, but we will take it as it comes. It's all about progression from what the players have done in training and it's all leading towards the first league game at Exeter."

Wright added that it would be unwise to draw too many conclusions from performances in friendlies.

"My experiences of pre-season are that they can be up and down - you can have a fantastic pre-season and then a bad start, and other times you are losing sleep and thinking you look terrible but then hit the road running," he said.

"It can be hard to judge. Most importantly it's about staying fit, keeping clear of injuries and always looking to improve in terms of technique and fitness."

Wright, meanwhile, said United were no closer to the appointment of a new fitness coach, with academy strength and conditioning coach Paddy Maher continuing to work with the first team squad.

"Paddy is helping us and doing very well," Wright said. "We are taking it week by week and maybe something will pop up. At the moment we're pretty settled."

Tickets are now on sale for United's friendly at AFC Fylde on Saturday, July 21, priced £12/£10 (adult) and £10/£5 (under-16). There are 1,000 standing tickets and 169 seating tickets available and can be bought via www.afcfylde.co.uk