Manager Keith Millen says he is refusing to give up on Carlisle United’s players despite the obvious need for reinforcements.

The Blues are in deep relegation trouble after 18 games of their League Two season.

United’s lack of wins and goals suggests they will need to do some serious work in the January transfer window to save their EFL status.

Millen admits their lack of a goal threat is a serious issue.

But he also says he will continue to believe in his current players – and asked fans to stay behind them.

“I’m certainly not giving up on this group of players,” he said.

“We’ve still got five or six games before the window opens. I just want to change the momentum for Saturday [when United host Walsall].

“If we can win on Saturday, we’ve then got two cup games, and you never know then. We could just go on a run and then see where we are in January.

“I’m not giving up on this set of players and I hope the fans don’t. They are trying. I think you can see that. I’ve got to try and help them a bit more with what I do for the next few days.”

Millen disagreed with the suggestion that, whatever he tries, the current crop of players are simply too limited to turn United’s form around.

“I think it’s unfair to say they’re limited,” he said.

“You always want to improve players. You can see improvement in them, certainly…you’ve just got to keep working with the players, and helping them.

“There’s no limits to where they can be. Their mindset is the problem – there’s that fear of, ‘We can’t score a goal, once we go a goal down…’ but the one good thing was their reaction in the second half on Tuesday was very positive.”

Millen said it is “obvious” that United are struggling in front of goal. Another barren afternoon this weekend would set a club record of six straight home league games without scoring.

“Yeah, that’s obvious – we can’t score,” the manager said. “We are not scoring goals. I can’t hide behind the fact that we’re not scoring goals.

“But what I would say is we’re creating opportunities. If you’re not you’re in real trouble. We are creating, but we’re not taking the chances.

“Until something changes as far as personnel…I have to change the mindset in the dressing room. That’s what needs to change for Saturday’s game.”

Millen said United continue to search for help in the free agent market but the right player has not yet come up.

He said he has been assured by club bosses that Carlisle can sign players before January if the right individuals are available.

“The club are fine, Dave [Holdsworth, director of football] is fine that if there was someone there that would help, of course we would, and we’re looking.

“I’m going to games, watching games. We can’t do any more than we are from a scouting point of view. If something comes up, we would do it. It’s not a case that I can’t do it. If anyone’s got any names then let me know…”

Millen denied that he was in any way “surprised” by United’s lack of potency, having taken charge with the team at a low ebb.

“I wouldn’t say it’s surprised me. I think we’ve improved them in respect of the chances we’re creating,” he said.

“Tristan Abrahams and Brad Young, in the last couple of games, have worked their socks off. You can’t complain [about that].

“But we’re not getting the goals from them or anyone in the team. Set-pieces – we hit the post in the first half [on Tuesday], had another couple of chances, so it’s not surprised me.

“I’m experienced enough to know what’s needed now and it’s not me going in there saying, ‘Listen lads, keep doing that and you’ll be ok’. I’m kidding them if I say that. It’s not right.”