Steven Pressley says young loan striker Connor Simpson must raise his game in order to play his part for Carlisle United.

The Preston frontman was again omitted from the Blues’ squad for their defeat at Newport on Saturday.

Simpson, 19, has not figured in the last five games since scoring Carlisle’s winner at Port Vale in late January, one of three appearances since his transfer window move.

Pressley has decided against using the tall frontman as a Plan B option and, asked about his absence on Saturday by the News & Star, United’s boss said: “He’s not done well enough, that’s the reality of it.

“In training and in the [friendly] game [at Sunderland last] Tuesday, he’s not done well enough.

“He needs to do better. It’s Connor – he’s got a responsibility. He’s come here and needs to do better in training and the games, and he knows that.”

Simpson could get another chance to stake his claim in a friendly at Middlesbrough tomorrow. Pressley suggested there would not be any trialists involved. “It’s more for players that require game time,” he said.