David Holdsworth says no more contracts will be handed out at Carlisle United until the Blues know which division they will be in next season.

The Cumbrians’ director of football has also called on players to show they deserve new deals with their performances, starting with today’s big Brunton Park clash with Bury (kick-off 3pm).

United have recently taken up options in the contracts of keeper Adam Collin and forward Hallam Hope to offer one-year extensions, while midfielder Kelvin Etuhu triggered a new deal through appearances.

A host of other senior players, though, are out of contract this summer including Jamie Devitt, Tom Parkes, Danny Grainger and Anthony Gerrard.

And it seems there will be no rush to table new terms, even though Holdsworth suggested some informal discussions have taken place.

United are today hoping for a much-needed win against their third-placed visitors to close the three-point gap to the play-off places.

Holdsworth, who is in charge of contract matters at Brunton Park, said: “When you are down to the nitty-gritty, you’re looking for leaders, and for players to roll their sleeves up.

“The Cumbrian support [from our fans] has been absolute brilliant and they are passionate people. I say to the players now, roll your sleeves up and come and earn a contract.

“I’ve got millions of agents ringing me about new players and existing players. If you want a contract go and show these supporters that, when you turn out against Bury, you care about this club, you care about your future, and the rest of it will take place.

“They’re good players, and we need to see Cumbrian spirit that the fans will enjoy. They [need to] know that these players really deserve and want their support – but they don’t get it cheaply, you’ve got to earn it.”

Asked if any talks were being held with players at the moment, Holdsworth added: “I’m not going to give a player a contract until I know what league we’re in.

“I’ve had quiet discussions with some, and certainly a lot of agents. We’ll make [decisions] based on facts. If you’ve not participated, you don’t get a contract. If you don’t earn it, you don’t get a contract. Simple.”

Manager Steven Pressley, meanwhile, says United must not be shy of attacking League Two’s leading scorers this afternoon. Ex-Blues winger Nicky Adams will line up for the third-placed Shakers.

“We have to impose our ways on Bury,” Pressley said. “They’ve got some good strengths but so have we.

“They have Nicky Maynard, who is third top scorer in the league with 19 goals, and Adams, who’s the highest assister.

“They play good football and are an attack-minded team. But if we are what I consider to be brave in the way we go about things, we can cause Bury a lot of problems.”