Manager Jim Nichols has called for Carlisle City’s fringe players to “prove a point” when they are given a chance in their FA Vase tie at Thackley AFC.

Nichols admits the Sky Blues have “quite a lot of selection worries”, ahead of their first qualifying round tie against the Northern Counties East League Premier Division outfit this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

Star frontman Rob McCartney, Arron Bradbury and Shaun Vipond, who scored City’s late penalty in their 2-1 victory at Esh Winning last weekend, are all set to miss out. 

But Sky Blues boss Nichols still thinks his team have a chance of progressing in the competition.

With City coming into the match on the back of four successive league wins, Nichols said: “Confidence is high.

"[But] we have quite a lot of selection worries, actually. Obviously, Bobby [McCartney] is still suspended, Arron Bradbury is unavailable with it being a Saturday [due to work commitments], Shaun Vipond is missing with work and we have a couple of others missing, as well.

“We have won four and had virtually the same team for them, but we are now going to have to make changes which isn’t ideal against a team from the league above.

"But, as long as we work hard and we give everything, we have a decent chance. That’s what the message will be that we will be passing on to the players.”

The winners of the tie will earn £550 in prize-money.

Nichols added: “I think there are a few people that have been on the fringes of the XI. They have come on, but have not necessarily cemented a place.

"For them, I think they have a point to prove.

“I think that’s a big positive because if people are coming in and thinking it’s only for one game, you might not get everything they have got. But a lot of the lads have done well off the bench, they know they have an opportunity and I’m hopeful they will take that.”

When asked what he knew about the Dennyboys, Nichols said: “Carlisle City played them last year and I think they were on the wrong end of a 5-2 scoreline.

"I have asked a couple of people that I know about them who live down that way. They’ve said they are a much-improved side on where they were last year.

“Last year, they finished 15th in the league but, this year, they are currently sixth. I think they will be a better  side.”