The situation at Carlisle United is starting to look a bit desperate, isn’t it?

From reading reports on the Blues’ 2-0 loss at Plymouth on Saturday, it doesn’t sound like they played particularly well.

United then started fairly well against Keith Curle’s Northampton on Tuesday, but another disappointing second-half display saw goals from Scott Pollock and Sam Hoskins pile more pressure on United manager Steven Pressley.

In my opinion, the Cobblers didn’t look to be a particularly great side, and the Cumbrians did well to keep old boy Nicky Adams quiet, which is just as well because we know what he is capable of.

Frontman Nathan Thomas also started well, only for Carlisle to fall behind after the restart.

But one United player I would like to praise is 17-year-old defender Jarrad Branthwaite who was named the sponsors’ man-of-the-match at the end of the League Two encounter at Brunton Park in midweek.

Hopefully, he goes on to have a long and successful career in the game.

He has been thrown in at the deep end, really. When you are making your home league debut in a team which is struggling, it can be really tough, but Branthwaite didn’t look out of place at all.

I was also a big fan of Liam McCarron when the winger broke into Carlisle’s first-team last season, before he moved to Leeds United in the summer.

Ideally, I would have liked to have seen the 18-year-old spend another season or two in Cumbria, before he looked at joining a higher-league club like Leeds.

You can understand the frustration from the Blues’ fans at present, really.

At the moment, United are 21st in League Two, only five points ahead of bottom side Stevenage and, really, beginning to look over their shoulder a bit.

A lot of the fans are giving Pressley a lot of stick but I’m not so sure he should be shouldering all of the blame.

He probably won’t say it but, when he was saying he still felt like he needed to add three strikers to his squad in late July, that was not an ideal situation to be in ahead of the start of this season.

Tomorrow, Carlisle will visit Leyton Orient as they look to end a run of four successive league losses.

Carl Fletcher’s team were beaten 4-0 at Plymouth on Tuesday, having claimed a 4-0 victory at Grimsby on Saturday. Their last two results just go to show how difficult it is to predict results in this league.

It doesn’t look like anyone is going to run away with the League Two title this term, like Lincoln did.

Exeter looked like they might run away with it at the start of the campaign, but the Grecians have lost their last two fixtures now and slipped back to sixth in the league table.

In the FA Cup, meanwhile, United have been handed a first-round tie at National South side Dulwich Hamlet’s Champion Hill ground. Obviously if you had the choice, you would take a home draw.

But if you are going to get an away tie, you would much rather be facing a non-league team like Dulwich than a League One side.

Geographically, it’s not an ideal one for Carlisle fans, and I’m sure Gavin Rose’s men will be up for it, but I would expect the Cumbrians to come through that tie.

A win would earn Carlisle £36,000 in prize-money, too, which could be crucial for the club while, with that first-round tie set to televised live, that means the Blues will receive a welcome cash boost through a £75,000 broadcast fee, as well.