Steven Pressley says the way Anthony Gerrard responds to being dropped will determine how quickly he regains his place.

The Carlisle manager said he axed Gerrard from his starting line-up because his recent performances have been short of standard.

The big centre-half was an unused sub as the Blues dramatically beat Bury 3-2.

It is the first time Gerrard has been dropped since he joined the Cumbrians early in the campaign.

Pressley said it is now down to the 33-year-old to prove he should be recalled.

“It was a big decision,” Pressley said. “I’d thought long and hard about it after last weekend and I don’t think Anthony’s been playing at his best at this moment in time.

“His performances haven’t been what I expect of him.

“I’ve already made decisions on the likes of Gary Liddle and Gary Miller, leaving them out [in recent weeks] and I felt at this moment in time it was the correct decision.

“Of course with a senior player there’ll be disappointment and it’s never easy to leave a senior player out, especially a player of his influence.

“All I look for now is the correct reaction. In training as long as he goes about his business, responds in the right manner and shows the right mentality, then of course he’s [under] consideration for the next game.”

Pressley opted for a back four against Bury that saw Tom Parkes feature at left-back, with Miller at right-back and Liddle and Peter Grant in the middle.

That saw matchwinner Hallam Hope return to the side as an extra forward.

Pressley said he had explained his decision to Gerrard. He added: “As a manager you’re paid to make big decisions, and it was a big decision.

“In the end you could argue it’s proved to be the right decision, although only time will tell.

“If I can’t make big decisions then I’m not really a true manager. It’s the making of you. I had to make what I felt was right for the team and thankfully they responded in the correct manner.”