George Tanner hopes he and Carlisle United can make up for lost time after his goalscoring impact against Salford City.

The right-back scored against his former club in the Blues’ 1-1 draw.

It came in Tanner’s second game back after a collarbone injury.

And the 21-year-old defender hopes it is the start of a return to better things after his injury lay-off and the Blues’ recent interruptions through Covid and weather postponements.

“It’s been really tough, not just for me but the other lads with the postponements and things like that,” the ex-Manchester United man said.

“It has been hard for us to get going and that’s why we’re looking forward to this run of games now.

“Personally, being out for two months has been really hard, but I worked every day with the aim of getting back as quickly as possible.

“I had to wait for the collarbone to heal and be fully strengthened before I could really push on. I could run a week after the operation so I wasn’t missing out on any cardio fitness.

“Now it’s fully healed, with a metal plate in there, hopefully it’ll be alright and it won’t be breaking on me again.

“When you’re injured all you want to be doing is helping the lads and playing football, and there’s no better feeling than winning. That’s what we want so we need to focus on climbing back up that table again. I think we will.”

Tanner could not hide his delight after firing an 11th minute goal at the Peninsula Stadium on Saturday.

It came at the club where he spent several months on loan last season without making a single appearance.

Tanner’s only previous Blues goal had also come against one of his old clubs in Morecambe.

He said of his latest strike: “It did drop to me nicely and you can definitely say I was buzzing with that goal.

“As people know, I had a bit of a tough time [at Salford] so it was nice to score. It’s just a shame we didn’t win the game.

“I only score against my old clubs. Two a season, that’s it for me…”

Tanner said United were frustrated not to hold on for all three points, another ex-Man Utd man in James Wilson levelling late on for the hosts.

But the right-back said Carlisle’s battling qualities suggested they are gradually getting back to better form after last Tuesday’s disappointing defeat at Harrogate.

He said: “We made ourselves harder to beat and we looked a bit more like ourselves. One of our strengths is making ourselves hard to beat because we’re a very solid and physical team. We did well and it’s something to build on.

“It is important to get straight back in having been out for so long. You need to get a feel for playing again because you do miss that a little bit. I’ll keep working on my fitness and strength and I know I’ll be back to what I’m good at.”

Despite suffering a broken collarbone in December, Tanner only missed six games as a result of United’s subsequent string of postponements.

They are now back into regular action and face Tranmere at home tomorrow. The full-back said: “We’re only just over halfway which is amazing really.

“There’s only two-and-a-half months left but still nearly half the games to play.

“It’s going to be tough but if we keep our fitness levels up and use our squad I’m sure we’ll do well. If we keep picking points up we’ll be there at the end of the season.

“Our performance levels before the break were fantastic and if we get back to being a tough team that’s hard to beat it’s there for us.

“I think we all believe we can go on and do well. We all want to push for promotion but we know we have to take each game as it comes and keep building on our performances.”

On his own immediate return to the side, meanwhile, Tanner added: “The manager obviously trusts me and believes in me. I’m happy to be straight back in the side and hopefully I’ll keep building on this.”