Boss Steven Pressley is calling on Carlisle United’s senior players to “stand up” as the Blues aim to get their play-off bid back on track.

The Cumbrians are preparing to host League Two play-off rivals Swindon tomorrow, before welcoming basement boys Notts County to Brunton Park on Tuesday evening.

It’s a crucial period for United, who welcome back playmaker Jamie Devitt to the fold, having taken just two points from their last five fixtures.

Looking ahead to the clash with the Robins, Pressley said: “We have a terrific game against an in-form Swindon side, but one we are, of course, looking forward to. 

“We have had a good week’s training. We think we have prepared properly and, hopefully, the evidence will be there tomorrow because we have so much to play for. 

“We have 11 games to go now - 11 cup finals for us - we are a point off the play-off places and our objective has never changed [to gain promotion]. We must ensure we are in the mix come the end  of the season, so home games are certainly pivotal to that.”

Richie Wellens’ men travel North on the back of a 3-0 home win over Colchester.

“They have good mobility in their front players, that’s for sure,” Pressley said. “They have good speed, so they are a team that is good on the counter-attack. They are also a team that likes to build the play, they are very much a passing team in the way they build their play.

“So, they test you both in the building of the play and in the transition where they defend, then counter, with good effect. It’s a really interesting game, it’s a good game.

"But I think the big thing for us is to continue to concentrate on improving ourselves, and I think that’s a really important factor.”

More than 10,000 fans flocked to Brunton Park for Carlisle’s last home game - a 3-2 defeat to MK Dons - but Pressley says it’s important the players put on the kind of performances which will help attract fans to games.

He also praised his younger players for their recent displays but added “our senior players have got to do better”.

“Of course the supporters are vital, but the performance to get the supporters onside is equally as important. I spoke to the group on Monday and one of the things is this - I believe our senior players have got to do better,” the Blues boss said.

“Our senior players have got to take greater responsibility just now. This is a period where, in my opinion, our younger players have been our best performers and I need more from our senior players. I said that to them on Monday, I made them aware of that. 

“This is a time and a position in the season where there does come pressure, there is no doubt there is pressure, because there is a degree of expectation and this is the time we need our experienced players to stand up and show the way.”

While Pressley said Macaulay Gillesphey is progressing well with his recovery from his knee injury, he confirmed 18-year-old winger Liam McCarron picked up a knee injury of his own in Tuesday’s 3-0 reserve friendly defeat at Middlesbrough.

Asked if there was a timescale on how long he would be out for, Pressley said: “Nothing yet, we don’t know.

"He will go for a scan which will give us a much better indication on the level of injury.

"But it's disappointing because he is a great, young player."