The FA Cup was a very important competition for Carlisle United this season because of the club’s financial situation, so it was disappointing to see the Blues go out on Saturday, having fallen to a 2-0 second-round defeat at Lincoln.

Even towards the end of last season, we were warned there were going to be budget cuts and things like that, which makes cup runs very important. 

But, unfortunately, we haven’t really gone on a cup run this year.

I think United manager John Sheridan was desperate to do well in the FA Cup, as well, because he would have been hoping he might have had some of the prize-money to spend on players. I don’t think he would have, but there was a hope that he might of got some of that cash to spend over January. 

But it looks like we will have no extra money to play with, so it looks like we will be wheeling and dealing to bring new players in.

At the minute, it looks like a bit of a tough task to get to where we want to be at the end of the season which, really, is in the League Two play-offs.

The Imps’ two goals came early and late in the match at Sincil Bank, which perhaps saw them show the clinical edge United have been missing.

For all the play we had, we had a lot of possession on the day. But when you take loanee Ashley Nadesan out the team as well, with Fleetwood not letting their striker get cup-tied, that takes out a bit of cutting edge. 

It just showed that we can be a good team, but you do need that goal-threat, and we didn’t have it on Saturday.

Of course, it was a big blow to see Carlisle concede so early, too, with Matt Rhead breaking the deadlock inside the first minute.

The plan would have been to stay in the game for as long as possible. But when they score that early, it’s disappointing. 

Their keeper, Josh Vickers, made a couple of saves and, at that point, you think there is still a chance, but John Akinde’s second killed the game off.

We used to have that kind of strike force which could make the difference. We’d have Danny Graham up there. He would go off, and Joe Garner might take his place, or maybe Gary Madine.

So, we always had numbers and quality in there but, this season, we haven’t got that. We don’t have a forward, other than Nadesan, hitting the net at the minute.

League Two is a poor league this campaign, to be honest. We’re not going to sugar-coat it because fans are seeing it.

But Lincoln have got to get promoted this term, with players like Lee Frecklington and Matt Green in their ranks. So, they have got to go up. 

Struggling Notts County are nowhere near where they should be, MK Dons are a decent team, Exeter are, too, but apart from that, I haven’t seen another decent side. We won 1-0 at Bury, and they are going to be tipped to be up there.

Next up for the Cumbrians is a trip to face league leaders MK Dons, managed by Paul Tisdale, on Saturday.

We usually do well in these kinds of games against the better sides in League Two. On big pitches and at big stadiums, we usually perform well.

If MK Dons are on it, they will probably tear us apart. 

But as we have said previously, we have not been playing well at home this term, so we will probably be happy to be away. 

A lot of people will probably be writing Carlisle off, but it would be just like us to get there and get something from the game. People are in League Two for a reason, and it is an inconsistent division, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Sheridan’s side got it right on the day.

It is a bit of worry that United’s season could be petering away a little bit, with the Blues in mid-table and out of both the FA Cup and the Checkatrade Trophy.

Listening to BBC Radio Cumbria after Saturday's game, it sounds like they were getting a lot of messages that were suggesting our season is already over.

But the players will not be thinking that way and the manager, Sheridan, won’t be thinking like that.

You can look at the squad and say it isn’t good enough, but the reality is we are four points away from the play-offs, and you always have to look at that and hold on to that little bit of hope.

There are a lot of games over Christmas and you don’t know what is going to happen over the festive period.

We could get a couple of signings in at the start of January who hit the ground running, and we might manage to offload a couple of players too, which frees up some money.

Apart from the team’s we have mentioned who are up there right at the top of the table, there is nobody else I look at and think: “They will beat us and then put a run together.”

We are one of the pack who could break into that top seven.

But we are also one of the pack that could kind of settle for a mid-table finish a little bit and, then, it ends up being a bit of a boring season towards the end.

Hopefully, there is a little bit extra to come from this United side.