Manager Steven Pressley insists he will not force the issue with any of Carlisle United’s summer transfer targets.

The Blues remain on the look-out for new recruits, having so far signed three defenders since the end of the 2018/19 season, but still only have 11 senior players signed up for their next campaign at this stage after Macaulay Gillesphey’s departure this week.

But former Falkirk, Coventry and Fleetwood boss Pressley, who also managed Cypriot outfit Pafos last year, said: "I don’t want to have to chase people down and force them to come to Carlisle because I have done that elsewhere in the past.

"When you are having to force them to come, they are never fully committed. With all the players I have spoken to thus far, they have all wanted to come here and I have absolutely laid down the plans and what my expectations are for them.

"I have told them all ‘do not sign this contract if you are not going to buy into that’. That’ll be the case with every player.

"Every player who comes through this door, they will be buying into the culture we want to create and they will want to be at Carlisle. I will not be forcing anybody to come here."

Pressley says United are interested in signing transfer-listed Sheffield United forward Nathan Thomas, who spent the second-half of the 2018/19 campaign at Brunton Park on loan, while the Cumbrians are also understood to have made a bid for Rotherham striker Jerry Yates.

On Thomas, whose parent club have just been promoted to the Premier League, Pressley said: “Nathan is one we are keeping close tabs on just now.

"David [Holdsworth, director of football] has spoken with his agent on a couple of occasions.

“He is one that we would like to bring back but it would either be a situation where he comes to some form of agreement with his club or we’d have to consider the loan option again.

"These are two options we’d certainly consider. But he is certainly a high priority for us.”

So far in the close-season, Carlisle have captured left-back Jack Iredale, centre-back Jon Mellish and right-back Christie Elliott.

"I think number-wise, including the young players, we are probably looking at 20 to 21 players," Pressley said.

"Regarding the group itself, I want a group that feels part of the club. I don’t want a big group, I want a group that feel they have an opportunity to play.

"I think, when you build a group like that, there is a closeness about it. They all feel part of it and that’s something I really want to create.

"But I also want our younger players, the likes of Liam [McCarron] and [Jarrad] Branthwaite, to really start pushing because I have no fear of playing young players.

"They must be coming back in the summer, wanting to be part of the first-team playing group. Nobody will be there without making some form of contribution."

Scot Pressley, meanwhile, has backed Steve Clarke’s appointment as Scotland manager and expects them to get off to a winning start against Cyprus on June 8.

“I would feel confident that Scotland could see off Cyprus in front of a big crowd at Hampden," he told The Daily Record.