The timing of the departure of Steven Pressley as Carlisle United manager this week took me by surprise.

I know the Blues had lost 3-1 at Morecambe in the Trophy the night before as they were knocked out of this season’s competition, despite 17-year-old defender Jarrad Branthwaite becoming United’s youngest-ever goalscorer, but Wednesday’s decision still came a bit out of the blue to me.

When the news broke the former Scotland centre-back had left the Brunton Park club, I was out on a walk. So, I didn’t know until my wife told me when I got home!

Personally, I didn’t get the chance to meet Pressley, but all I have heard about him are nice things.

But football is a results business and, unfortunately, the results under Pressley have not been good enough, with the Cumbrians currently sitting in 19th place in League Two.

In terms of Pressley’s permanent successor, with the position the club are in, I would be cautious about bringing in a manager who has no Football League experience.

I always think you need an old head to help you get out of trouble.

As a player, it’s part and parcel of the game to work under different bosses.

From my days as a player, I remember times when the manager got the sack. As players, you just need to make sure it doesn’t affect you too much and you try to keep business as usual.

I’m sure the whole squad will be looking to make a good impression, once again, in the next few weeks, though.

On Friday, I thought Carlisle did quite a professional job to beat National League South club Dulwich Hamlet 4-1 in their televised tie as they comfortably progressed to the second round of the FA Cup.

Harry McKirdy, in particular, was impressive at Champion Hill as he scored twice for the Cumbrians.

I was starting to wonder if United had turned a corner under Pressley but, I suppose, we will never know now.

Staying on the FA Cup theme, the Blues were handed a tricky second-round match away to League Two leaders Forest Green Rovers on Monday. That’s a tough draw for Carlisle and a bad draw, really, for the supporters because it will mean a long trip for the fans who decide to go to the match.

Before then, however, the Cumbrians have league fixtures at Port Vale this weekend and at home to Cambridge United next weekend to take care of.

Carlisle are still only five points clear of bottom side Morecambe and so I’m sure, in the next two matches, the Blues will be desperate to pick up all six points which are on offer.

Realistically, with the size of Carlisle’s squad at the minute, I think most fans would be happy with a top-half finish or, at least, making sure they finished away from the bottom five.

In their last 11 games in all competitions, John Askey’s team have only lost once, which means they are 10th in the table and two points outside the play-offs, so United will be in for a real test.

They have also been in decent cup form of late, too, claiming a 1-0 victory at MK Dons in the FA Cup on Saturday before a 2-1 success over Newcastle United’s Under-21s, courtesy of a brace by ex-United striker Mark Cullen, on Tuesday.