The word chosen by Carlisle United’s supporters’ trust to describe the current Blues was rich in meaning. They are, CUOSC said, now on a journey of financial “sobriety”.

An image of drunken wad-wavers isn’t immediately what you’d associate with Carlisle’s 11-year ownership regime of Andrew Jenkins, John Nixon and Steven Pattison.

This, though, is how recent years – especially the Keith Curle era – are being categorised. Under the prudent eye of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, the message is that United are trying to be a more responsible operation.

No more strides into the market for high-premium League Two players. No more two and three-year deals for anyone past their teenage years. No more reckless debt. Instead, a more vigilant approach to squad building which, in the close-season, set off at a decent clip but, at other stages, slowed to a frustrating crawl.

A handful of holes were thankfully filled on the eve of the season. United’s recruitment, though, is still not finished. Some things are worth waiting for, Steven Pressley has insisted, namely loan centre-forwards he believes will offer “value for money”.

One hopes he is right. Not many are predicting Carlisle to go higher than mid-table this season and while anything is possible in a volatile division, the challenge again at Brunton Park seems to balance on another tightrope.

EWM, the club’s main backer and shot-caller, shows no sign of abandoning its “no comment” policy on United affairs. The regular line from the club is that Philip Day’s firm is consistent with its support.

Maybe so. The fuzziness, though, comes when an organisation with such strong clout inside a football club does not wish to have a conversation with those who pay at the turnstiles.

Pressley, a more visible leader, has said Carlisle are operating with a “bottom six” budget and a tight squad. To counter this the manager is sending some clear principles into the open.

At least the Blues do not begin this campaign wondering about their tactical identity. Pressley, backed after last season’s challenging run to 11th, has made no secret of his preferred “high-energy” playing style.

Signings have been made with this in mind. Others have been rejected for this reason. Extra fitness demands have been set and, in a perfect world, a fresher, more energetic team will exhaust some of League Two’s more fancied outfits.

How flexible United will be in the times when they are unable to press so high and hard we will discover. How much quality can be mined from this team, too. The Experimental361 website noted that Carlisle’s squad had suffered the greatest “churn” of all in their division, and no longer in blue will be a number of familiar favourites, like Danny Grainger and Jamie Devitt, whose departure was summer’s hottest debating point.

Both (particularly Devitt) were game-breakers. Instead of experienced creators, the likes of Harry McKirdy and Jack Bridge will need to convert potential. The best of the talented Nathan Thomas, a bonus signing after his short-lived Gillingham loan, must be unearthed again.

An entirely new back four, with seasoned centre-halves, should provide ballast in front of the reliable Adam Collin, though at the other end it is not a squad with a big back catalogue of goals. Olufela Olomola and Pressley’s other young loan striker, Ryan Loft, will be challenged to step up; last year’s top scorer, Hallam Hope must put behind him a pre-season of transfer speculation, a red card and a hamstring injury.

When United’s trading was at its slowest, director of football David Holdsworth copped fan criticism. Carlisle’s contract policy (one-year deals with “reviews”) was questioned. He maintained this was the responsible way to go, adding that the decision to wait on certain targets was Pressley’s. Frustration was loud when such as Jerry Yates and Tom White went elsewhere. More positive bulletins came with the retention of Collin and Mike Jones (Pressley’s “stabilisers”).

In the academy, Eric Kinder’s return after six years away featured in a major coaching reshuffle. United have never gone public on exactly why Darren Edmondson was removed from his youth position but believe Kinder’s experience and track record make him suitable for the job, alongside Mark Birch, promoted after Gavin Skelton was taken by Pressley as his own No2.

There is hope on the horizon with players from that department, like the highly promising Jarrad Branthwaite, Josh Galloway and the sadly injured Josh Dixon, after Liam McCarron’s sale to Leeds. In coaching, meanwhile, Nathan Rooney is another fresh arrival, while David Waldie has had his first summer to address United’s strength and conditioning.

John Sheridan’s right-hand men, Tommy Wright and Paul Murray, did not last beyond May. United may desire “continuity” in areas like this but it is not there yet.

It exists elsewhere: in the club’s fine community sports trust and in dedicated staff, some of whom generated the excellent #8kforMK scheme (more of that, please).

It also resides in less popular places. United are now starting a sixth straight season in the fourth tier (their longest stretch is eight) and there is little sign of change on the stadium question. More stand roof repairs show how well, or not, Brunton Park is hiding its age.

The owners – including John Nixon, elected League Two rep with the EFL again – remain. CUOSC, despite two boardroom seats, still have little fundraising clout.

These remain serious background issues. One thing United certainly got right this summer was their kit launch and this should be a model for where they go in all areas: thinking differently, brighter, better.

This especially applies on the pitch, where we will see if “sobriety” and Pressley’s plans can indeed bring clearer vision – or whether going cold turkey risks causing fresh shakes.