Steven Pressley urged the media to “concentrate on the positives” despite Carlisle United slipping further away from the play-off places after their draw with Cambridge.

The Blues are now three points adrift of the top seven after former United favourite Jabo Ibehre scored to earn the visitors a 2-2 draw.

Pressley, though, felt the focus should have been on the brighter side of his team’s display against Colin Calderwood’s side at Brunton Park.

The United boss took issue with BBC Radio Cumbria’s James Phillips early in his interview, as the commentator pointed out that keeper Adam Collin had saved several one-on-one chances against their struggling visitors.

“It’s nice of you to concentrate on the positives,” Pressley replied.

“I’ve just talked about the performance, which was a really good performance, where we created numerous chances. It would be nice if you would concentrate on them.”

United’s boss also alleged that “one tweet” was being used when supporter criticism was being put to him. “I’m saying to you [that] you need to be positive because it was a really good performance,” he added.

Carlisle came from behind after Rushian Hepburn-Murphy’s early opener, leading at the break through goals from Jamie Devitt and Nathan Thomas.

But old boy Ibehre came back to haunt his old club with a 68th-minute leveller.

Hallam Hope hit the woodwork for the Cumbrians but Collin was also in superb form to keep out a string of clear-cut Cambridge chances.

Pressley added: “We have to turn these performances into wins, but I’ve got no complaints about the effort of the group and no complaints about the chances we created.

“We have to tidy up on one or two defensive aspects, but if you’re asking me is there enough evidence from the last two games? Yes.”

Pressley said Carlisle had played the sort of attacking football he had demanded and felt United were “in control” of the game.

He said Aston Villa loanee Callum O’Hare was “outstanding” along with others such as Regan Slater, Mike Jones, Thomas and Collin.

Pressley said Carlisle would not panic despite their gap to the top seven increasing ahead of games against high-flying Tranmere and Bury.

“We don’t panic but we know how important winning is,” he said. “We just have to keep focusing on the next game and not look further ahead.

“We can only keep doing what we’re doing and keep believing in what we’re doing. The game of football, no matter how much we talk about it, will never change in the sense that, generally, most successful teams are clinical in both boxes.”

Pressley insisted that United are not suffering from any mental block as a result of their shortage of wins. They have just one victory in nine games.

“I felt [last] week was a really great week for us, we took a lot of confidence from [last Saturday’s] performance, and I felt we trained and prepared really well. The truth is I came into this game really confident. When I saw the performance, I was really pleased – I just wasn’t pleased that we didn’t get, in my opinion, the outcome that a lot of our play deserved.”

Asked why he withdrew key man Devitt in the closing stages when United were chasing a winner, Pressley said: “[Stefan] Scougall is also a key player. It was just a change that I felt was required at the time.”

Pressley expects Kelvin Etuhu to return this week after the midfielder missed another game following the recent birth of his son.

The Blues boss said: “His wife and baby were in the hospital for the majority of the week, and had a little bit of a concern about a little thing with the baby, but everything now seems fine.

“I spoke to him on Friday night, which was his first time out of hospital. It was just a time that he felt he needed to support his wife, and we all understand that. He should be back in work next week.”

Pressley added that Peter Grant, sidelined through a training-ground injury, should return in time for the Bury game in two weeks’ time.