The idea that Carlisle United’s lofty position in League Two would benefit them in the player market appears to be confirmed by Stefan Scougall, their last signing of this week’s influx.

While Steven Pressley’s presence as manager is another major factor, the midfielder also says he liked the idea of joining a side going in the right direction.

“For me, it was nice to go into a team who’s pushing for promotion, rather than going for a team fighting relegation,” Scougall says. “For me it was all about the positivity of the club.”

The 26-year-old became a United player, on a deal to the end of the season, with a few hours left on deadline day. The Scot, who agreed to end his contract at St Johnstone, is expected to bring a new creative buzz to Carlisle’s middle ground.

He believes Pressley is the manager who can tap into his best qualities. Scougall talks warmly about the influence United’s boss had on him during a spell at Fleetwood in 2016, when they helped keep the Fylde Coast club in League One.

“I just think it’s the way he sees the game, the way he likes his midfielders to play,” Scougall says. “Everything he says, it just suits me to a t. The way I feel the game should be played, the way I play my own game…it’s perfect.

“I had other options to stay in Scotland but I played some of my best football under him at Fleetwood. When I came in we were fighting relegation. I did well, we got out of that, picked up a good amount of points in the remaining 10-12 games…and it’s all about trust.

“I’ve kept in touch with the gaffer ever since we left Fleetwood. Even when he went overseas I kept messaging him now and again. It’s good to feel wanted and he knows what he can get out of me. In a way he kickstarted my career again, and hopefully we can do that [at Carlisle]. It was a massive bearing on me coming here.”

Pressley said today that Scougall had been a United target even before his appointment. Caretakers Tommy Wright and Paul Murray had identified the midfielder as someone to go for.

The arrival of “Elvis” in Carlisle’s hot-seat only consolidated that idea. Pressley made contact with Scougall immediately and, though he had other interest, there seems little doubt that he was going to end up at Brunton Park once he had completed negotiations in Perth.

“I was always fairly sure, but once it goes down to the last day, you’re kind of panicking a little bit,” he says. “But once we got the call from my agent, everything was all good to go and I couldn’t get down here quick enough.

“I’ve had a couple of moves in my career but none on deadline day. It was quite exciting, quite a busy day.

“The gaffer spoke to me just after he got the job, asking if I’d be interested. At St Johnstone I was out of the picture so it was just a case of trying to get out of my contact there, and once I spoke to the gaffer it was a no-brainer. I wanted to come and get back playing football.”

Why did Scougall come to a position where he had reached the end at St Johnstone, after a season-and-a-half, 33 games and one goal?

“It can be a number of factors - not really playing in your preferred position, not really getting the chance to play in that position,” he says. “I was stuck out wide most of last season. This season I started centrally and done well, then all of a sudden I was out of the picture. That can happen in football.”

Scougall says he prefers to operate centrally, either as a number 10 or in central midfield. “As long as I can get on the ball. For me I need to be on the ball, and get loads of touches, to be effective.

“I’m a forward-thinking player, high energy. I give my all every game, whether it’s going well or not so well. I like to get in the box and try to create chances for the team.”

Scougall started at Livingston, impressing enough to earn a move worth £400,000 to Sheffield United, where he spent two-and-a-half years and made some good memories, not least a goal at Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final. He also helped the Blades to the League Cup semis, and, in 2016/17, part of a squad that achieved League One promotion.

“It was brilliant,” he says of his time in South Yorkshire. “A lot of ups and downs. It was a great time and I’ll always have fond memories of Sheffield United. I’m glad they’re doing really well this season as well.

“Once you’ve had a taste of success, you crave more. It’s maybe an old cliché but you do. You want to look back on your career and say I’ve had this promotion here, this promotion there. As players it’s what you want to achieve.”

His Blades days means there is at least one familiar face in his new dressing room. “I know Regan [Slater] from my time at Sheff United. [As a Scot] you generally know a couple of the Scottish boys already, too. It’s been fairly easy to settle in and the rest of the boys seem a good bunch.”

Scougall, who notched 10 goals for Sheffield United, believes his career goals return “could be better” and wants to improve this at Brunton Park. Has he seen much of his new team in action? “Yeah - once I spoke to the gaffer, I’ve been looking at the highlights, and it’s clear they’ve got good players who like to attack - and most importantly, they can defend. There’s been a few clean sheets recently.”

He is far from the only attacking midfielder in United’s ranks, with Jamie Devitt a key creator and Callum O’Hare, on loan from Aston Villa, another intriguing addition in this area. Scougall accepts there will be competition.

“You can’t turn around and be like, ‘I can have a day off in training today’," he says. "You need to work hard every day. There’s good midfielders here, good competition for places. I need to work hard, and hopefully I can get my way into the team.”

Does he feel so many new additions – Carlisle made seven in all, in January – can bond quickly for the 16-game run-in? “Good players can gel hopefully really quickly. It’s just all about getting to know each other’s games as quickly as possible, and I’m sure we’ll do that here.”

At least the bustle of League Two should not be any surprise to a player with Scougall’s experience, both sides of the border. “You don’t get any easy games in professional football,” he says. “When I was at Sheff United, we played a lot of League Two teams in cups. I know what to expect.”

He says that, when discussing his United move, there was no talk of what might happen beyond this season. Like all Carlisle’s recent additions, he has signed terms that run only to the summer. “We’re not looking any further than the end of the season,” he says.

“It’s all about promotion, playing games, and hopefully we can all do that and reach our targets.”

At 5ft 7in, he may not be the most imposing figure United send out on a Saturday – but Scougall intends to stand tall in his own way. “You’ve always got doubters," he says. "But for me, I just like to prove people wrong.

“I’ve done that ever since I was a young boy, when I was told I was too small to ever become a footballer. For me it’s just another challenge.”