Carlisle United manager Steven Pressley expects to announce the capture of a loan striker at the start of next week as the Blues aim to bolster their frontline options.

After United finished their 2019/20 pre-season campaign with a 2-0 loss against Scottish Premiership newcomers Ross County yesterday, Pressley described the forward as “a very robust, smaller, striker”, but he didn’t name the player who he hopes will join the Brunton Park club tomorrow.

Meanwhile, having last week said he expected Hallam Hope to return to training at the start of next week after a hamstring injury, Pressley now expects the Barbados international to only come back to full training later in the week.

Pressley also revealed a midfield target “has come back into contention”, having felt they had missed out on him previously.

"Without doubt, I think we do [need to add to the frontline]," Pressley admitted after goals from Simon Power and Iain Vigurs had consigned the Cumbrians to defeat at Victoria Park.

"But I think we also need to find the right combination in that area.

"We are very close on one, which I think will be in the building tomorrow morning, so that’s good, and we continue to work hard.

"With Hallam, I thought, initially, he was going to be back tomorrow, but it looks like he will have a couple of days with Dolly [physio Neil Dalton] and then, on Thursday, he should be ready to train fully.

"So, we should have a couple more attacking options in the building come the weekend [when United open their new League Two campaign against Crawley]."

When asked what he could say about the player who he hopes will be Carlisle’s ninth summer addition tomorrow, Pressley replied: “He is actually a very robust, smaller, striker but he is physical in his play. He can take the ball in and he is also mobile.

"So, we are quite excited by him. We think he is very much suited to our style of play, and I think he is going to be a very good addition to the group.”

As he reflected on Carlisle’s performance in the Highlands, meanwhile, Pressley conceded his players had looked tired.

“It was a really good game for us,” he said. “I think, in the sense of our physical condition, we looked fatigued, probably the most fatigued we have looked in any of the games.

“Thursday was an extremely hard training session, and I think we have seen the effects of that.

“I think, sometimes a game like this before the season starts, is actually a good thing. After Tuesday’s game [a 3-1 win over Tranmere], everybody was hysterical about the performance.

"But, myself, I know we have a long way to go. Sometimes, you need little reminders.”

Elsewhere, ex-United loan man Regan Slater has joined Scunthorpe on loan.