Steven Pressley thinks Stevenage will provide Carlisle United with a real physical test.

With five fixtures left in the regular League Two season, the Blues are a point outside the play-off places, ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Boro’s Lamex Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Pressley’s troops will hope to build momentum after their dramatic 3-2 win against Bury, but the hosts themselves have a slim chance of breaking into the top seven, lying in 12th, five points behind Exeter.

Like United, Dino Maamria’s men also come into the contest after a win, having beaten Grimsby 2-0 on Saturday.

“They are also a team, like ourselves, who are coming in on the back of a good result,” Pressley said.

“I have watched their performance against Grimsby, it was a strong performance. They are a team that has really good physical elements about them. They are a big team, they are an aggressive team [and] they are an organised team.

“So, it’s a good challenge for us this weekend. We have to be ready for those challenges. If we are not, we will fall flat on our face.”

Pressley will be forced into at least one change with Mike Jones suspended, while Macaulay Gillesphey is not ready to start despite returning to training after knee surgery, with captain Danny Grainger (hamstring) and Mark Cullen (groin) still sidelined. United also have injury concerns over two other players.

Kelvin Etuhu came off the bench against the Shakers, who remain in serious financial difficulty, at Brunton Park. And Pressley hinted the 30-year-old will take Jones’ place in the starting line-up.

The 45-year-old said: “There is no doubt Kelvin made a good impact when he came on. He actually did that when he came on in a previous game when I brought him on around the half-time mark and he made another big impact [against Swindon].

"I think that tells you the type of character Kelvin is. But you also have respect how Mikey Jones did in his absence.

“They are two players vying for the one position, both making good contributions which is a great thing for a manager, but it’s the natural replacement. There is no doubt about that.

“He is a really good character, he brings a physical aspect to our game and that’s one of the things Stevenage do have is a real physical presence. He gives us that. So, he’s the natural replacement.”

An unpredictable league took another twist in midweek, with Newport and Swindon drawing 0-0 while strugglers Macclesfield beat Exeter 3-2.

But Pressley said: “We are getting faced with some setbacks on the injury front but I just have this feeling that we are going to do it.

“Of course, we want to do it on our own terms but, when results go right for you, like on Tuesday, you take that and then it’s important you take advantage of that.

“There is no point us getting excited by other results if we don’t do our bit and that’s the key factor. I said to the players in the analysis meeting on Tuesday that this game at the weekend is a really significant game in terms of what we want to achieve.

"We are going to go there and be determined to get that result.”

QPR loanee Ilias Chair, Alex Revell and Danny Newton are all injury doubts for Stevenage.