Carlisle United must take the game to “derby” opponents Morecambe today.

That is the view of assistant head coach Gavin Skelton, who admits the Blues have a responsibility to attack.

United can further boost their recent improvement with victory against Derek Adams’ second-bottom side this afternoon (Brunton Park, 3pm).

The 21st-placed Cumbrians are aiming to increase their 13-point gap above the League Two relegation place against their closest geographical rivals in the division.

Adams has Morecambe eight points above danger and Skelton said the Scot has done a good job so far with the Shrimps.

The Blues No2 said: “He has, and that’s not taking anything away from [previous boss] Jim Bentley, because he did a fantastic job.

“Derek has come in and changed the way they’ve played a little bit, and how they’re structured. I’ve seen them a couple of times when we haven’t had games and they’re very organised.

“They beat Port Vale the last time I watched them and he’s a very good coach. I know him from Scotland and I know how disciplined he is as a coach.

“We respect them and their players but we’ve got some real talent in our dressing as well.

“As ever it’s about ourselves and we know we’ve got some really good players.

“We’re at home and we know it’s one where we have to take the game to them.

“It’s good to be back at home, it doesn’t feel too long ago that we played them twice away, so we’ll be trying to take the game to them.”

Harry McKirdy is back in contention after injury for the Blues while Lewis Alessandra will face his former club, likewise Morecambe’s ex-Blues pair Cole Stockton and John O’Sullivan. The latter scored the equaliser against United in December's 1-1 draw at the Globe Arena.

Skelton added: “It’s our derby game and it’s one we look forward to.

“I’m sure they’ll bring a good support.

“I think they’ll be a bit like us from last week, having watched their game back, because they’ll have felt that they should have been in front at Grimsby.

“We certainly feel we had enough opportunities and pressure to win the game at Crawley so I think both teams will come into it feeling hard done by not to get better results last Saturday.

“In terms of preparation we’ve played each other a few times so it comes down to the finer details. We’ll look at them, they’ll look at us, and we’ll think about set pieces and different changes to shape we can use.

“Hopefully we can build a bit of excitement with the way we play and take the game to them.”

Skelton says United are keen to overtake some of the sides in front of them as they target a good finish to the season.

He said: “I think we’re looking up the way. We respect the teams below us but if we win games we know it [relegation] is not a concern.

“We’re aware that we still need points to pull away, and that’s what we’re aiming to do.

“It will be a wet and windy day which isn’t always ideal to play in, but sometimes that brings an extra bit of atmosphere for some reason, a bit like a night game.”