Carlisle defender Anthony Gerrard says he is suffering from alopecia because of the mental toll of his dispute with former club Oldham.

The centre-half said he has lost some clumps of hair due to the stress of the case involving the Latics – who accused him of “racist behaviour” despite the FA deciding not to charge him over comments made in a players’ WhatsApp group.

Gerrard is now involved in a legal process as he looks to fight Oldham’s claims and said that, in the meantime, he is having to deal with the emotional side of the situation.

“I can’t really go into detail because there’s a legal process that I’ve got to go down,” he said.

“But on a physical and mental side, it’s very tiring, to be honest. It’s taking its effect. I’ve had alopecia. I’ve never had it before, it just started up out of nowhere.”

Indicating an area on the side of his head where hair had vanished, he said: “There’s a patch there, a patch on the other side and a patch on the top. I look like a bit of a Dalmatian at the minute.”

He added: “Even though you’re a big boy, it’s not needed, not handy. On Friday, when [Oldham’s] statement came out, my missus was on the phone, crying, saying, ‘How can they do this, they’re trying to ruin you,’ and I was on the phone to the FA and the PFA, saying they [the FA] found me basically not guilty, gave me a warning about it, five minutes ago, and then they [Oldham] put [that] statement out…

“It is what it is. It shows a lack of class. But there’s a legal process and when all is said and done it will come out in the wash.”

Gerrard added: “They [Oldham] sacked me for one thing, and sent paperwork to the EFL and FA, and then it just so happens that they flipped it, when this so-called racism stuff came out [and then said that] they sacked me for that. Which one was it?

“But it’s all in hand. I’ve got a solicitor who is on with it at present, working in tandem with the PFA, so hopefully we’ll get the proceedings going.”

Gerrard admitted Wednesday’s 6-0 thrashing of his former club was extra satisfying in light of the off-field situation.

“Of course it is, after everything that’s been written and spoken about me,” he said. “To go out and produce a performance by the lads that was so emphatic, so damning, 6-0 – they don’t come around often.

“I think my performance at Crawley [last Saturday] was not up to the standard I’ve set myself of late. It just so happens that all those shenanigans happened on the Friday. I was half worrying about my missus, my kids and bits and pieces. I wasn’t really 100 per cent on it and I think it showed in my play.

“But, back to it, I enjoyed a lovely Christmas with my kids and family, came up on Tuesday night and we produced an outstanding result.

“The legal process is going to take a while. It’s not going to be over in a matter of weeks. It’s just a case of me compartmentalising, each and every day. My primary concern is playing football - that’s what pays the bills. If I get it right on the field, that’s what I’m worried about.”

Gerrard received a letter of warning from the FA and was told to attend an education course, after allegations over a joke he is said to have made about the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in the Oldham players’ WhatsApp group.

He was not, though, issued with any more serious punishment.

On the pitch, meanwhile, the experienced centre-half helped United to a second clean sheet in three outings as they ran riot at the other end.

“It was a fantastic display from the boys – very clinical,” he said. “We dispatched an Oldham side who have been on a decent run of late.

“A clean sheet, goals galore, a lovely set-piece from Danny [Grainger] and we defended when we had to defend, dug it out at times and caught them on the counter.

“We spoke about it in the analysis before the game, that they [Oldham] get their full-backs advanced and you can exploit the spaces down the sides, and I think we did that perfectly.

“Jerry Yates has been a breath of fresh air since he’s been moved down the middle - he’s been a focal point and seems to be holding everything up.

“Then we’ve got Hallam [Hope] and Nadders [Ashley Nadesan], two speedsters who catch pigeons, coming on the inside or on diagonal runs.

“We’re clicking and playing well.

“I don’t think I’ve had many 6-0s to be honest. It’s quite a nice result especially against my former side. Also being Boxing Day, a bumper crowd, it’s a tradition, the family going to football, hopefully we’ve sent those fans home thinking, ‘that wasn’t too bad’ and they can come back again.

“They make a huge difference. It was a little bit quiet – I like a bit of atmosphere and raucousness, but 5,000 is a great turnout for the club.”

Gerrard was also asked about John Sheridan, with the manager having used his post-match interview to threaten to quit the club if too many people did not like his “demanding” nature.

The Blues boss signed Gerrard in August having worked with him previously at Boundary Park.

Gerrard, 32, said: “It’s work, it’s winning. I’m in an environment where I’ve got a manager who knows what I’m capable of.

“I think he upsets a few of the lads with his demanding nature and how he wants to play. He doesn’t like to shout - he’d rather the lads shout at themselves, shout at each other, but it is what it is.

“People respond in different ways. We go in 2-0, come out and put another four past them, so that’s the reaction we can get when we’re having a bit of a niggle at each other.

“Some of the stuff he said [on Wednesday] is not broadcastable. But I take it, I know what it is. We’re men, it’s a man’s sport. If you can’t handle someone giving you a bit of [that] I think you’re in the wrong game.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a good thing, because not everyone likes being shouted at and there’s ways and means of going about things, but at present he felt that is what was needed.”

United will be seeking a fourth straight win against Macclesfield tomorrow, with the ninth-placed Blues three points outside the play-off places.

“It’s very fine margins,” Gerrard added. “It’s about having belief in our ability that you can do it, you can produce on a consistent basis and level.

“These last three games have shown that, going forward, we are creating chances consistently. Defensively, we were a bit awry at Crawley, but previous to that we kept another clean sheet.

“It’s not coincidence that we’re working as a unit, not just a back four or five. As a whole unit, the full XI, from Nadders and Hallam tracking full-backs, to the three midfielders…the lads are getting the gist of the 4-3-3 and how it can be so beneficial, especially when we’ve got some serious gas.”

On the test against the Silkmen, he added: “Since Sol Campbell’s gone in I think he’s revolutionised how they’ve played. He’s wanting to play football, but I think there’s a time and a place.

“If he wants to play that kind of football here we’ll relish the challenge and hopefully we can be ruthless and counter-attack as we’ve shown.”

United, meanwhile, today said they have tabled Gerrard an improved contract offer in a bid to keep him to the end of the season.

The ex-Cardiff and Huddersfield man said he is happy at Brunton Park, where he enjoys a good relationship with United’s supporters.

He added: “That’s what I play for to be honest, the fans. Everywhere I’ve gone, even the Oldham fans, sang my name, clapping, and since I’ve left it’s been dog’s abuse.

“It’s football. Fans are so fickle. [Even with] Liverpool and Man City, one week you’re a hero the next you’re a villain. It’s a bit of a pantomime, soap opera at times.

“But anyone in their right frame of mind would give their left leg to be a footballer. I’m just trying to enjoy the last years of my career with a smile on my face. I’d love to play at a higher standard but I find myself in League Two.

“That’s down to myself partly, but also some people’s opinion of me as a person and a player. It is what it is. There are players who’ve never played in the Football League, who just play semi-pro, train twice a week and go for a game Saturday. For me they’re the full, die-hard footballers.

“Once I finish football I won’t be doing that. I’ll be taking the kids to football or dancing. It’s a game and I want to enjoy it.”

On Carlisle, he added: “I’d never been to Carlisle [before] other than going through on a train or driving through to Scotland. When you see some of the buildings, the architecture, the castle - I didn’t even know Carlisle had a castle. I thought it was fields and flood plains!

“When you look around the city you think, lovely that, that’s a nice road, that’s a nice street. It’s got some lovely features. I’m enjoying it at present.”

Gerrard is still seeking his first United goal and tried his luck from 35 yards against Oldham, his shot clearing the bar.

“I thought it was going in,” he said. “I would have celebrated. Maybe a front flip, or the Daniel Sturridge…

“I haven’t scored for ages. Danny Grainger keeps taking all the free-kicks off me. The one against Colchester where the keeper dived out of the way, I wanted to take it. I said, ‘Dan, go on, please, let me hit it’, and he said no. I might just have to stand on his achilles or something so he can’t hit it…

“Danny hits a lovely ball. The keeper might get the assist from pushing it in the top corner [for Carlisle’s fourth against Oldham] but it was a great goal.”

United will tomorrow be aiming for a fourth straight league win for the first time under Sheridan.

Gerrard added: “The feel-good factor has got to be the main driving force. The winning feeling, three points, a nice drive home to your family. You’ve got to have something that burns inside you to keep demanding of yourself, like the top players do - set themselves high standards on a daily basis.

“We’ve got to set our high standards that we’ve produced in the last three games. Crawley not so much, that was a grind, but we produced moments of quality.

“Let’s just take it step by step, but the last three games are a huge building block.”