Steven Pressley admits Carlisle United’s wait for a victory cannot go on much longer after a fifth winless game further hit their play-off chances.

Defeat at Newport sent the Blues down a place to ninth.

Although they remain a point outside the top seven, they have taken just two points from a possible 15.

That run seldom looked like halting at Rodney Parade even though Pressley said it was “quite an even contest”.

The manager felt it hinged on Carlisle’s failure to deal with the set-pieces that led to the hosts’ two goals.

On the Blues’ poor run he said: “We have to get back to winning ways and we have to do it quickly.

“There were some positives from the game, as I always see, but ultimately we lost the game and the result is the most important aspect.”

Ade Azeez and Padraig Amond scored in either half for Mike Flynn’s side with Danny Grainger having a late penalty saved by County keeper Joe Day.

That made it United’s longest winless league run of the league season.

Pressley said: “I think it was a day where the actual game itself was quite an even contest, but it was decided by two moments and two set plays.

“We’ve worked hard all week on the basics of football, and I told the players if you don’t do those aspects correctly [at Newport] then you won’t win the game – and the two goals were both from set plays.

“Within that we have to take individual responsibility and make sure our man doesn’t score. Unfortunately that was the case. We have to do better in these moments.”

Carlisle struggled to create chances after the break when chasing the game.

Asked about this aspect of the match, Pressley said: “The first half was a game of chances for both sides, the second half was a game where neither side really created too much.

“We had the penalty but apart from their goal, which came from a set play, they never really created too many problems.

“Taking away the goals it was quite an even contest, but goals decide games and they scored from their opportunities.

“In the first half we probably created four big chances. If you come to Newport and create four big chances that’s a good return, but you’ve got to score those chances.

“In the second half, absolutely, we didn’t carve out enough opportunities, although we had a lot of ball.”

Pressley did not make any substitutions until United were 2-0 behind midway through the second half.

On this, he said: “Prior to the second goal we were gonna make the change – it was gonna be a positive change in the respect of bringing Nathan Thomas on and reshuffling, but the goal went in prior to that unfortunately.

“I was comfortable at the time, and that was the change I felt could give us more impetus and unfortunately we lost the goal just prior to him coming on.”

On United’s play-off prospects, he added: “If you are one point off it with 11 games to go, it’s massively on. But we have to turn it round and get the momentum back that we had three or four weeks ago.”