The issue for me with Carlisle United’s 2-1 home defeat to Forest Green Rovers was the lack of depth and options in the Blues’ squad.

On Saturday, the likes of Lloyd James and Reece Brown ran the show really for Mark Cooper’s men.

The disappointment with that from a United perspective is not having the options to choose from and the players to really stop the opposition’s creative players from playing their game.

Those two lads ran the show for Forest Green, but were allowed to by Carlisle’s players. Normally, in a squad, you have people that can be told “Mark tight and stop them from playing”.

If one of the Cumbrians’ players could have done that successfully, then that would have altered the game completely. 

If you look at the good and even the great teams, yes they could all play, but they still had two or three men that could get hold of the ball for their team.

The Blues were lucky to go in at half-time only 1-0 down.

In fairness, Forest Green were the best passing side that have been to Brunton Park this season and, after Jamie Devitt’s second-half penalty, United could have actually got a draw.

I wouldn’t have liked to have been on the away coach going home on Saturday if John Sheridan’s side had managed to snatch a point!

Carlisle then travelled to Notts County on Tuesday evening, and earned a point through Jerry Yates’ late equaliser although, having listened to the game on the radio, it sounds like the Blues could have won.

Especially in the first half, it sounds like United could have been out of sight.

We do keep going back to what a crazy league League Two is this campaign and, even after the results this week, the Blues are still only four points outside the play-offs.

It was pleasing to see Rotherham loan man Yates get his first goal for Carlisle in midweek.

I hope it is the first of many for the lad. Last week, we were talking about Regan Slater and now we are praising Yates, so there are good players at the club.

But it’s difficult because the Blues don’t have quite as many experienced players as they would, and probably need, around these youngsters.

At the minute, the future of Carlisle’s loan players whose deals are up in the new year still remains uncertain, although Fleetwood boss Joey Barton has said he wants to bring striker Ashley Nadesan back in January.

United can ill-afford to lose those players but, if you don’t have the money, there is little you can do about it.

Tomorrow, the Cumbrians are in FA Cup action, visiting Lincoln as they look to book their place in the lucrative third round. It’s certainly a big game for the club. 

In the league, the play-offs still aren’t of sight for United but, if they can be in the hat for the third round, that would be a huge boost.

The magic of the FA Cup probably isn’t there for Premier League clubs quite as much anymore, but it definitely is for clubs like Carlisle.

There has always been a gap between the top division and teams in the third-tier and fourth-tier of English football, but it looks be widening even more.

Now, Premier League clubs are loaning out players because they don’t have room for them in their 25-man squad, while clubs like Carlisle need prize-money from FA Cup runs.