Steven Pressley expects a “high-energy” test when Carlisle United take on Exeter tomorrow.

United’s boss says their seventh-placed rivals are among the best sides in League Two.

The Brunton Park encounter pits two of the division’s form sides against each other, United having won eight from nine and the Grecians seeking a seventh win from 10.

Matt Taylor’s visitors – who beat Carlisle 3-1 on the opening day - are two places and one point behind the Cumbrians.

Pressley said: “They played with a really high energy against MK Dons last weekend and pressed them very high.

“They’re a well-organised outfit and carry a goal threat. In this league they’re one of the best sides.

“I can’t see them differing too much from their previous performances. I say they’re a good side, but so are we, and we can never lose sight of that.

“We’re a very good side on our game. Although we’ll give them respect, do our homework and try to nullify them in certain respects, we’ll also want to impose our way on the game, and it’s really important we concentrate a lot on what we’re good at.

“If we do that, and do the basics properly, we’ll win the game, I’ve no doubts about that. If we fall under the standards we’ve set, we’re in for a difficult afternoon.”

Pressley praised Taylor for the job he has done since succeeding the long-serving Paul Tisdale last summer.

“He’s done terrific work, I compliment the manager,” Carlisle’s boss said.

“They’ve got some exciting players, they’re on a rich vein of form and will be coming up here to really cause an upset.

“They had a really strong start, had a wee disappointing period but they’ve come back strong in their last five games, and haven’t conceded many goals of late.

“They’re strong defensively, aggressive in and out of possession and will be a good test for us, but one we should enjoy.

“These are the games we want to play in. If we can get the right result it really sets us up nicely.”

Exeter’s assistant manager is the former Blues youth boss Eric Kinder, while Carlisle-born striker Ryan Bowman – who the Grecians signed from Motherwell in January – started his career with his home-city club.

“I saw quite a lot of him [Bowman] at Motherwell,” Pressley said. “I have continued to monitor Scottish football and he had a really fruitful period there.

“He’s come down and hasn’t played regularly as yet but he’s a handful, there’s no doubt about that.

“He’s slightly different to what they had but when they lost [Jayden Stockley] to Preston. They were looking for a similar type of replacement and he comes into that mould.

“He is a good player but so is Jonathan Forte, who’s a very experienced and good striker. They have a lot of creation in their team - they have Lee Martin on one side, a very dangerous player, and also Nicky Law who was fantastic for them last weekend, scoring two goals and being very prominent in every aspect of their attacking play.”

Visiting boss Taylor says United are “the form team” in League Two at the moment.

“It’s a difficult place to go. It’s going to be a tough test, but one we feel we are ready for,” he said on the Exeter website.

Taylor said Exeter have “a few knocks and niggles and a bit of illness in the camp” ahead of the game.

But he added: “We’ve got to go there with the right mindset, a similar one to which we had last weekend, attack the game and attack the opposition.

“If we can put in a similar sort of performance, then it will be a good game of football.

“They [Carlisle] are the form team in the league, and they score a lot of goals and hurt some good teams. It’s a good surface which will hopefully suit both teams.

“Both teams want to get the ball down and play and it will be fine margins.

“It’s a big pitch, and a good one, which is testament to their ground staff, and it’s always well looked after and well prepared.

“We know a little bit about Carlisle, a new manager has gone in there and it doesn’t seem to have changed too much, and you wouldn’t want to when you’re on such good form.”

Taylor also believes United's style of play has changed in recent times.

"They seem to be playing a lot more possession-based football," he said.

"With no disrespect to the previous managers, we’ve had some real battles up there in the past and they have physically dominated us.

"They will look to do that again, but they can also hurt you with the ball, so maintaining possession and finding space on what is a very good playing surface at Carlisle is important.

"I don’t think it will be an open game, it will be a game where your quality players need to get on the ball in those pockets of space."