Gavin Skelton says he is encouraging Carlisle United to play with “freedom” as they bid to build on their improvement at Newport County.

The Blues gained their first point and scored their first league goals for a month in the 2-2 draw at Rodney Parade.

The second-bottom Cumbrians will hope to take a confidence boost from that into their home encounter with fellow strugglers Oldham Athletic this weekend.

Caretaker boss Skelton, who will be in charge for a third game on Saturday, hopes his players are lifted by their midweek efforts.

He said: “Hopefully, being human beings, they should feel that.

“They should have felt the disappointment of not winning, but that feel-good of how we played and the opportunities we created, scoring two goals…you naturally should feel that.

“As well as the goals we had a number of shots on target and we created some good chances, and from that we got good individual performances and a good team performance. We have to use it as a springboard to take into Saturday.

“At our team meeting [today] we’ll show them good stuff, to show what a good team and players they can be, and hopefully they’ll feed off that.”

Skelton said the players embraced the “energy and positivity” of United’s travelling fans in south Wales.

“We have to take that positivity and momentum into Saturday where we need to start well and get people behind us,” he said.

“Players can grow in confidence and then you’ll hopefully see a different team.”

Joe Riley’s first-minute goal at Newport was United’s first in six hours of league football.

“No matter what you say about it not affecting us…like strikers when they’re not scoring, it’s bound to be on your mind,” Skelton said.

“Hopefully that’s a monkey off our back and we can kick forwards.”

United’s better spells at Rodney Parade showed the Blues display some good passing football.

Asked if he had put an extra accent on that sort of style following the sacking of Chris Beech, Skelton said: “A little bit, but [it’s] almost a case of letting them take responsibility for it.

“Not be too rigid. Let them feel free in a framework to do it.

“We spoke before the game on Tuesday and said we can hide behind anything [if we want], but they’re on the pitch and have to take responsibility.

“They’re good footballers. Professional footballers should know how to play football. You can help and educate them but that’s their job, what they want to do. They have to take responsibility on how to do things.”