Steven Pressley accepts Carlisle United are lacking physical strength in their side, having been hit with a double injury blow.

After their 3-0 defeat at Stevenage, Blues boss Pressley confirmed star man Jamie Devitt and Kelvin Etuhu, who both missed the clash at the Lamex Stadium, have joined United’s treatment table.

Devitt is set to be sidelined for two weeks with a hamstring injury, while Etuhu has an ankle knock and may not return for Carlisle’s home game against leaders Lincoln on Friday.

Pressley says losing Etuhu was a particularly big blow against a strong Stevenage side who broke the deadlock through Arthur Iontton’s opener, before Kurtis Guthrie netted twice after the restart.

“Dev is probably going to be two weeks with a hamstring injury,” Pressley said. “We are still unsure on Kelvin, he has a problem with his ankle. So, we don’t know if he will make Friday or not.

“It was a real blow to lose him because he would have brought a little bit of steel to the team yesterday, but that’s football. It’s something we are just going to have to deal with.”

That result means United remain in eighth, four points adrift of the play-off places with just four fixtures left in the regular league season.

But the manager believes Carlisle can still break back into the top seven, despite having only claimed two wins in 12 matches, if they can turn their form around in the closing stages of their campaign.

“Of course it makes it more difficult. I’m not looking for excuses but of course it does,” said Pressley when asked if the absence of Devitt and Etuhu had made his job more challenging.

"You can see the physical size of our team yesterday, we are not the biggest team and, in the end, I think that was a significant factor in the game. That’s just where we are at this moment in time.

"But it doesn’t mean we give up hope.

"It means we need to keep working hard, keep believing and keep trying to do things to ensure we get some points between now and the end of the season.”

Midfielder Mike Jones is one player who should return for United after his one-match ban when they host the Imps who can claim the title at Brunton Park with a win.

Captain Danny Grainger is due to return to training this week, with Pressley hopeful Mark Cullen can return soon, too.

Pressley, meanwhile, is due to be the star attraction at a Penrith AFC evening at Frenchfield Park to mark the club’s 125th anniversary on Thursday, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £5.

For details, email

Over the weekend, tributes were also paid across the footballing world to Carlisle legend Ivor Broadis who died on Friday.