Carlisle United are closing in on a new right-hand man to boss Steven Pressley.

The Blues are understood to have identified a leading candidate for the assistant manager position following the departures of Tommy Wright and Paul Murray.

Manager Pressley is keen to have the situation resolved soon and both he and director of football David Holdsworth have been in talks.

An appointment could be made soon, with the Blues' new-look backroom team set to take shape ahead of the return to pre-season training towards the end of this month.

One man out of the running is Neil MacFarlane, who has assisted Pressley at a number of his former clubs.

He has joined Brentford as their B Team head coach.

It is expected, meanwhile, that United will be recruiting one senior figure to Pressley’s backroom team rather than replace both Wright and Murray.

Both Holdsworth and chief executive Nigel Clibbens said the individual responsibilities of United’s senior coaching team have been reassessed following the departure of Wright and Murray.

Holdsworth added: “It’s been made clear to Steven the working format he’ll be working under, and he’s extremely happy to do that.

“We’re clear in the responsibilities of the [assistant] role that anybody should take up on that.

“This was something Steven himself was clear about when the decision was made to release Tommy and Paul.”

Clibbens added: “The make-up of what a backroom staff does, the balance of work between manager, assistant and coaches is different in every situation. What worked for Keith [Curle] might not have worked for John [Sheridan], and what worked for John might not have worked for Steven.”

On the financial implications of Wright and Murray leaving halfway through their two-year deals, Clibbens added: “As in normal contracts, there’s a notice period, and that started from the date of the announcement [of their departures].

“The amounts concerned don’t affect the rest of the finances of the club.”

Many supporters had expected MacFarlane to link up again with Pressley after the pair worked together at Falkirk, Coventry, Fleetwood and Pafos. But he has opted to move to Griffin Park, where he joins former Blues man Lee Dykes, who is the Championship club's head of recruitment.