Steven Pressley insists he has no problem with his Carlisle predecessor John Sheridan claiming current Blues players want to join him at Chesterfield.

The United manager said it is “normal” in football for players coming to the end of their deals to be putting feelers out.

Pressley says he is also receiving messages from other players in a similar position who may be open to joining the Blues.

Sheridan, who was in charge at Brunton Park for the first half of the season before quitting to return to Chesterfield, last week said some of his former players had made contact.

He said: “I get texts from Carlisle players now who want to come here, I get them from [another former club] Plymouth.

“They know, even though we’re non-league, it’s a good set-up, a good stadium – they want to come and play.”

A host of United players are out of contract this summer and asked by the News & Star for his response to Sheridan’s comments, Pressley said: “It’s normal.

“If you have a contract with your paper, you have a month to run on your contract and they haven’t made you a single offer, would you be looking elsewhere?

“That’s the reality of the situation. All players do that. I get texts as well from players from other clubs, [who] I’m certainly not going to talk about, but it’s normal.

“If you’ve got a family, you’ve got kids to look after, a house, a mortgage to pay, you’ve got to ensure you’ve got to look after yourself.

“These sort of things don’t affect me, this is football, this is normal.”

United have said they will not be offering contracts to players until they know which division they will be playing in next season.

The Cumbrians are two points outside the play-off places ahead of their penultimate game of the campaign at home to Crawley this weekend.

Asked if it was a concern that players’ focus could be affected if they are considering their futures at other clubs at this stage, Pressley said: “Of course. We’re all human, we all have concerns about the future.

“It is what it is just now. We’ve not got a stability at the club at this moment in time but hopefully we can bring that moving forward.”

United remain in with a shout of the play-offs despite their own inconsistent form. Other sides in the race have similarly failed to nail down seventh place.

The Blues’ manager added: “You can see how, with other results, there’s a real nervousness about all teams in this situation.

“One thing we have to do is be in a situation at least when we go to Yeovil [on the final day] and can find ourselves in with a chance of sneaking in, if we get that important result.”

* United are dedicating this weekend's game to mental health charity Mind, who are the EFL's charity partners. There will be a bucket collection which will help local mental health services, a half-time fan challenge on the pitch, and posters and announcements.

Mind chief executive Paul Farmer said: “We hope that events like this will reach out to fans and let them know that whoever you support, Mind supports you.”