Jack Armer has spoken of his gratitude to departed Carlisle United skipper Nick Anderton – the man whose place he took.

Anderton has moved on to Bristol Rovers at a time Armer looks set to be United’s first-choice left-back next season.

The promising ex-Preston man, who last week signed a new two-year deal, ousted Anderton from the side in the second half of last season.

But 20-year-old Armer said he has a lot to thank the former captain for.

“Nick was really good with me all season,” Armer said.

“We travelled in together every day and he spoke to me a lot about who we were playing against and what they were like in the games he played.

“He was really supportive, and even towards the end when he was playing centre-half, he was a massive help next to me and it was really good to play with him.”

Armer has been reflecting on his first season of first-team action in the Football League.

The young defender caught the eye with some good displays in Chris Beech’s defence.

That led to a positive response from fans when it was announced Armer had extended his stay at Brunton Park to the summer of 2023.

The defender said of his 2020/21 campaign at United: “I’ve learned a lot on a personal note, and as a team, what happened…it’s been a totally weird season.

“Next season we just have to kick on and try and push through what comes at us.”

On stepping up to League Two after life on the fringes at Preston and a loan spell with Lancaster, Armer said: “I’d trained with players in the Championship and in the seventh tier…it’s a bit of a big step.

“I had to work out how it was going to be, but I thought I settled in quite quickly and then I was just waiting on that opportunity [in the team].

“I didn’t get much game time in the early part of the season but as soon as I started playing it was brilliant.

“It’s difficult when you aren’t playing because everyone just wants to play games. You’ve just got to make sure when you get the chance you take it and I think I showed that I did that when I got a good run of games.

“You’ve just got to work hard and do extra bits and pieces which hopefully the gaffer notices. 

“The lads were all really good with me, we’re a really tight group and everyone supports each other.”

Versatile Armer came into the side for his first league start in the 1-0 win over Mansfield in December – when he was asked to deputise at right-back.

“The gaffer didn’t say much before [that game] - he just told me I was playing right back,” he said.

“I’ve never really had much of a right foot but I had Aaron [Hayden] next to me and JJ [Kayode] in front of me helping me out and I really enjoyed it. 

“I actually found it easier going forward when I was on the right as a left footer. People don’t expect you to cut in and it’s actually an easier position to cross from, so I just tried to make use of that as much as I could. 

“But I’m not fussed where I play. I obviously played left and rightback, then we played a back three so I was left wing-back and had to go back in as centre-half for a bit as well at Cheltenham, so I’m happy to play wherever I’m needed.”

Armer capped his first United season with his first professional goal in the draw at Barrow.

“That was a bit special,” he said. “We ended up drawing 2-2 but I think because it was so early in the game, and my first goal, I didn’t know what to do.

“My [full league] debut against Mansfield was special too, [setting up] Omari [Patrick]’s goal…that’s got to be up there as well.”

Armer admits it was frustrating that Carlisle’s promotion challenge tailed off in the second half of a season when they were hit by Covid-19 and a series of winter postponements.

He said: “I don’t think you can actually put your finger on why we went through that bad run.

“Obviously the break didn’t help. I think we had 10 games rearranged and four weeks without playing, so it was a bit like starting the season without doing a pre-season.

“We were playing Saturday-Tuesday every week so it was hard, but I don’t actually know if you could specifically say what went wrong.

“We weren’t training outside and things like that, and it’s tough, but with a normal season next year we should have every chance.”

The defender believes United have the ingredients to compete well in 2021/22.

He added: “I think we’ve got a good group of lads and a lot of us will be together next year.

“We know we’re good enough to be up there at the right end of the table and that is the aim – we want to win the league and I don’t see why not.”