Caretaker Gavin Skelton says any further clarity on the process of appointing a new boss at Carlisle United is firmly in the hands of the club hierarchy.

The former assistant boss saw his first game in temporary charge end in defeat to Port Vale.

United had initially asked Skelton and his fellow coaches to look after first-team affairs until Saturday’s game.

What happens now on the manager situation is not yet clear but Cumbrian Skelton suggested he would not be pushing directors for answers.

“It’s the club’s total prerogative,” he said, after Vale had come from behind to win 2-1.

“I enjoy my role, I like working at the club, but it has been a long week…I’m sure there were lots of people here who’ve got their CVs in.

“We’ll go home disappointed, proud of the players’ efforts, and see my two little boys and my wife, and come Monday we’ll take it from there.”

Skelton said he was proud of the players’ commitment on Saturday but admitted United had not defended Port Vale’s two goals well enough, whilst failing to be clinical at the other end.

Ryan Loft’s goal after 21 seconds gave them the lead but David Worrall equalised on the hour, before ex-United loanee Mark Cullen profited from a Byron Webster mistake for the winner.

Skelton said: “I thought the commitment and effort was there – if anyone doubted that I would question that.

“It’s just disappointing it didn’t turn into points. It’s those finer details we need to polish up on.

“Crosses will always come into the box, but for their second one, we were going for the game and maybe there wasn’t that opportunity to double up.

“In every goal there’s usually two or three mistakes, and maybe with that one there were three or four, which frustrates so late in the game.”

Vale’s winner came when Webster failed to connect with an attempted clearance, with Cullen poaching to score from close range.

Skelton said the centre-half will not need reminding of the need to eradicate such errors. “He’s experienced, and he’ll be disappointed,” the caretaker said.

Skelton set United out in a 4-4-2 system with Canice Carroll and Loft handed starts, and Jack Bridge and Jon Mellish dropped.

The Blues got off to a dream start but were eventually pegged back by John Askey’s side, and Skelton said: “We gave it a right go, it was probably entertaining for the crowd, there was a good atmosphere, but we came out the wrong end.

“There were lots of positives but we didn’t defend the moments, the crosses, and they were two similar goals at the back post.

“They [Port Vale] had pressure and the crowd got up, and I know they hit the post but otherwise Adam [Collin] hasn’t had to make any great saves, they haven’t missed any sitters.

“It was disappointing to defend that well but then not defend the moments in the second half.

“With the commitment from the players, they were really good and deserved that stroke of luck. We didn’t get it, but if they keep working like that I’m sure as a group we’ll get those breaks and results will come with them.”

Skelton, who said his parents had travelled to Vale Park to support him, admitted he had been proud to lead United.

But he added: “I’d have been even prouder if we could have taken something. It’s not about myself ultimately. It’s about the lads and their disappointment at the moment.”

Mo Sagaf was left out of Saturday’s squad due to swelling on a head injury. The midfielder travelled to Port Vale and took part in some solo running drills before the game.

Hallam Hope missed the game as he was involved for Barbados in their international game against Saint Martin on Saturday. The forward played 66 minutes in their 1-0 defeat, with Barbados next facing the Cayman Islands on Wednesday. Skelton said he is due back at Brunton Park on Thursday or Friday, ahead of United's home game against Cambridge next Saturday.