Steven Pressley is urging Carlisle United not to squander their chance to make the play-offs, saying opportunities to earn promotion don’t arise as often as players think.

United are only a point outside the play-off places, ahead of today’s trip to Stevenage’s Lamex Stadium (3pm kick-off) as they look to break back into the top seven.

It has been a positive week for Pressley’s side who claimed a 3-2 home win against Bury last weekend and then saw other results in the play-off race go their way on Tuesday evening.

The Blues boss hopes his team can build on the success against the Shakers, with just five fixtures left in the regular League Two season.

"I hope so. We had a really positive result against Swindon six games ago, but then, we had a setback the following game. So, we have to show the right mentality, we have to show the consistency and we have to show the determination because the chance to get promoted doesn’t arise that often," said Pressley.

"You think that they do but they don’t. So, you have to grasp them."

Midfielder Mike Jones is suspended, with centre-back Macaulay Gillesphey not yet ready to start. But Pressley says he may consider Gillesphey for a place on the bench with United having concerns over the fitness of two other unnamed players, while captain Danny Grainger (hamstring) and Mark Cullen (groin) remain sidelined.

Dino Maamria’s men, meanwhile, lie 12th and themselves still have slim promotion hopes. QPR loanee Ilias Chair, Alex Revell and Danny Newton are all injury doubts for the hosts.

Pressley, though, thinks every game is a challenge at this stage in the season, regardless of the opposition.

He said: “On Tuesday, and in recent weeks as well, you have seen that there are many inconsistencies in a number of teams just now.

"I think that comes down to there being as many teams now fighting for their lives at both ends of the table. The reality sometimes sets in with certain teams.

"There is not an easy game at this moment in time, I said a number of weeks ago this is why the English leagues are so special. You have so many teams that believe they can still achieve promotion in terms of through the play-offs. Then, there are a number of teams who are fighting to avoid being sucked into the relegation battle.

"So, it makes all games at this part of the season very, very difficult games. As I’ve said, I think that’s reflected in the results of late."