Steven Pressley says Carlisle United will only have themselves to blame if they blow their play-off chance.

The Blues manager struggled to hide his frustration after his side slumped to a 1-0 defeat at struggling Grimsby.

Results elsewhere meant victory on Easter Monday would have taken United into the top seven.

Instead, they conceded a 90th-minute goal which saw the hosts end a 10-game winless run.

Carlisle are two points outside the play-off places with two games to play. Pressley said: ”It is still there. We’ve got two huge games, where we have to take the maximum six points.

“But I get frustrated. I keep talking about this – saying we must seize the opportunity and we fail to do so.

“In the end if we don’t gain that elusive play-off place we’ve only got ourselves to blame, because we’ve certainly had the opportunity to do so.”

Sub Joe Grayson’s late strike for Grimsby capped a poor afternoon for the Cumbrians, who lost Kelvin Etuhu to a first-half hamstring injury.

It brought United firmly back to earth after their Good Friday victory over champions Lincoln.

Pressley said he could not question his players’ effort but said they were lacking quality in the final third at Blundell Park.

He also suggested some in his side were not in the best possible condition.

“The truth is some of the players aren’t quite at the physical level I would like them at,” the United boss said.

“Even Nathan [Thomas] was cramping up after 60 minutes, which is not ideal.

“The situation is we have to work with the players that we have and can only make the changes we have available.

“Missing big players like Jamie Devitt, and Kelvin going off, is unfortunate but I still thought we had enough quality to win.

“I didn’t think it was a particularly good spectacle full stop, a game with very few chances for either side. We hoped we would get he all important breakthrough but we lacked the quality in the final third.

“We had control of the game for periods in the middle third but our decisions in the final third let us down. We also turned down opportunities to put the ball in the box.

“We took a huge step forward on Friday and gave ourselves the opportunity, and I said before the game that this was a game to be decided by our mentality – how much we want the game.

“Unfortunately we didn’t manage to show enough quality and the mentality in the final third.

“Our problem is inconsistency – we take a step forward and then a step back.”

Pressley also said Grimsby’s playing surface contributed to the game’s low quality.

“The pitch isn’t in particularly good condition, it was a very hot day where the pitch became very dry, they’ve no water system here [at Grimsby] which didn’t really help in terms of the flow and speed of the game. But we still have to find the quality.

“We now have to get ourselves together, ensure that come training again we are positive, and we have to find a way to beat Crawley at home.”