Steven Pressley has told his Carlisle United players that they must not let the fear factor get in the way of their attempt to kickstart their promotion push.

The Blues go to Newport tomorrow seeking a first win in five, having dropped out of the play-off places in League Two.

United sorely need a victory to give them some fresh impetus in their bid to reach League One.

But Pressley says his team’s “desperation” to keep their campaign on track must not become too much of a mental burden.

The Carlisle manager said: “We continue to work, to layer things, to move it forward. The players have been very receptive to every aspect we put to them. There’s a good feeling here and there will be a lot of changes between now and the end of the season.

“It’s important that we keep our focus, and we don’t show any levels of fear and concern. We have to stay focused and really keep believing in what we’re doing.”

Pressley felt that a degree of “fear and anxiety” was to blame for United letting slip the chance of victory at Colchester in last weekend’s 1-1 draw.

He says that only arose from their eagerness to stay in the promotion hunt.

“The group are a terrific group,” he said. “They’re desperate to win, to achieve, to give what these supporters want. They have a real feeling for this club.

“Sometimes when you get in front the desperation can take over and you lose sight of what you are doing. For the last half-hour at Colchester we completely changed from what we’d been adopting in the first 60 minutes, in terms of our courage and our passing.

“The one good thing is you don’t get that type of fear if you’ve not got that desperation to win. You’ve just got to manage that fear and anxiety and if we can do that, we can be a very good team.”

Pressley has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Wales, where United will face a 15th-placed Exiles side who have made their mark in cup competitions this season.

It is Newport’s first home game since they faced Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth round, going down 4-1 after a valiant display – and a run which saw victories over Middlesbrough and Leicester.

Pressley, meanwhile, will not be making any immediate additions to his squad after allowing three trialists to leave Brunton Park.

Ex-QPR striker Kingsley Eshun and two other unnamed players, all of whom played in Tuesday’s 3-0 reserve friendly defeat at Sunderland, have been released.

One other trialist has been with the Blues this week but is not under consideration to join the squad this season.

Pressley said: “After the game I spoke to [the three trialists] individually and made them aware we couldn’t see the benefits of taking them in.

“We wish them the best and we move on.

“There’s one trialist [still] here, but he didn’t feature in the game and he’s only in for the week. There is nothing imminent and it’s not one we’d look to do this season, it would be a longer-term one.”

United’s boss added of the game in the north-east: “When you play these games and bring in a lot of trialists, a lot of the time you’re not really working to the same type of tactical framework that you do with the first-team, so it becomes a little bit fragmented.

“You look at more individual performance. From that respect we got a lot out of it. George Glendon played 90 minutes and did really well in terms of his work ethic, because they were a very strong Sunderland side.

“JK [Jason Kennedy] got 60 strong minutes, Peter Grant played 90 and did really well, and our young players featured. It’s good for them to experience playing against senior players.

“It was a really good exercise and something we are keen to repeat. Especially for our young players it’s good to play men’s football and really gear them up for that.

“We’ve already got another couple of bounce games organised. For the development of our players and to allow the likes of JK [Jason Kennedy] to get up to speed, they are really important to us.”

Pressley said Liam McCarron had not featured in the game as he was keen to assess the trialists in the same position, while on Mike Jones, the Carlisle boss said: “Jones’s fitness is very good and we felt it would be ideal for him just to continue to train with us.

“If I don’t think it’s a benefit to the player, I’m not gonna play him, and Mike was happy with that.”