Steven Pressley is taking his squad training near Blackpool today – but it will be no pleasure beach for the United players.

The Carlisle manager is planning an illuminating day of fitness work close to the famous Lancashire resort.

Pressley will pier on from the sidelines as his players are put through a series of running drills and team-building exercises.

The “gruelling” day on the sands at nearby Lytham St Annes is designed to help the Blues tower over their League Two rivals in the forthcoming season – and go the extra (golden) mile.

Pressley said: “I took my Fleetwood squad there in the past.

“It will be quite a gruelling day for them.

“There will be a lot of team-building exercises and some gruelling runs – pushing the players to the edge.

“There will be hill running and certain exercises where I will test the players physically and mentally.

“These things help form the group. Once you get through these days, there is a sense of achievement.

“It takes the players to coax each other through – that’s how you build spirit and unity.”

The third day of pre-season training could take place without Liam McCarron as the 18-year-old winger moves closer to leaving the Blues.

It is believed a deal is close to sell McCarron for a six-figure fee, with Leeds poised to sign the Appleby prospect.

United - who have not yet been able to complete a move for Gateshead's Tom White - have yet to comment on McCarron's imminent destination.

The trip to the Fylde coast follows the first two days of pre-season work at Brunton Park.

The first day, on Thursday, involved gym work while United’s players were on the training pitch yesterday.

As well as their summer signings to date, the club have welcomed three trialists – a striker and two defenders.

Pressley will assess them in these early stages of pre-season ahead of United’s first friendly against Hibernian in 10 days’ time.

United’s squad remains light on numbers, with Pressley insisting patience is a virtue as he waits to complete a number of loan signings.

Pressley said all the players at his disposal have been asked to buy into his demands for a high level of fitness.

He believes this will give his side the best chance of playing the brand of high-energy football he wants next season.

He has devised their pre-season programme along with strength and conditioning coach David Waldie.

United’s boss added: “The human body is an amazing thing, and you can be surprised at the levels [it can reach].

“I’ve been here myself as a player, when the coach lays out the day and you think, ‘I can’t get through this’, and you do.

“It’s taking players to the edge, the point where you believe you can do more. That’s the mentality we want to build at this football club. Yes, there are the tactical elements and other aspects – but a player with the highest degree of fitness can perform everything asked of him.

“That is a huge gift a manager can give his players.”

Pressley added that United’s football work in pre-season training will be built on 11v11 sessions.

“It’s almost like basketball, in the way it is non-stop and gruelling,” he said.