Carlisle United manager Steven Pressley has not ruled out looking at the free agent market – but says the Blues are not “desperate” for more signings.

The Cumbrians’ boss says it is right to remain open-minded about players who could still be available after the transfer window closed last week.

United could still sign unattached players who left their previous clubs during the January window.

Pressley, though, said he will not add extra bodies for the sake of it.

Asked if free agents would be a consideration, the Blues manager said: “Of course. Absolutely.

“I spoke to my friend who’s a manager north of the border, and they’ve signed quite a number of players, but they were also going to see what developed in the market in terms of free agents who would come out.

“It’s something we could consider.

“But we’re not desperate now. I think we’ve got a good size. From my own personal opinion as well, there’s always that number you have in your squad that’s the ideal number.

“Everybody feels a part of it and you can create a really good bond. Once you start going beyond that you have players on the periphery of things that don’t really feel part of it.

“It’s finding the right blend.”

One area Pressley could look to bolster with a free agent is in attack, where United missed out with late attempts to bring former loanees Ashley Nadesan and Jerry Yates back to the club on deadline day.

Pressley, though, said he was pleased with the business the Blues did get done before the deadline, his squad now preparing for this weekend’s clash with top-seven rivals Exeter.

The game is likely to see new faces Callum O’Hare, Peter Grant, Nathan Thomas and Stefan Scougall in the squad for the first time, with Mark Cullen stepping up his return from injury this week.

Pressley acknowledges United’s squad has seen significant change in a short space of time but believes his existing players will help them all settle in quickly.

He said: “One of the problems is we’ve lost players out of the group that were in the starting XI.

“We are going to have to blend the new signings in quicker than maybe usual. But that’s no problem – we’ve worked on a number of things [already], and the constants we work to, we’ve tried to drill in as much information to the players as we can in that short period.

“The group that are here will also play a big role in moulding [the new signings] to what the group expects of them.

“That’s the reality. Any successful club is partially driven by the staff but also by the players in the dressing room. Those two aspects are important in integrating new players.”

United are expected to field a side comprised mainly of youth players when they face holders Cleator Moor Celtic tonight in the Cumberland Cup quarter-finals. Kick-off is 7.30pm at JBV Park.