Keith Millen admits a Crawley Town frontline which includes former Carlisle United man Ashley Nadesan poses a threat to the Blues’ fine form.

United boss Millen is hoping to oversee a fourth straight victory this weekend.

But John Yems’ visitors are on a similar run – and United’s boss says his side must get the balance right against the Red Devils.

“With the way they [Crawley] played recently, they tend to leave the frontmen higher up the pitch and then get it up front to the forwards, and they can be dangerous,” Millen said.

“We’ve got to be really aware of not over-committing. On the break they can hurt you.

“It’s making sure we get the balance right of us doing what we do, and an awareness of what their threats are.

“Their threats are they tend to leave three forwards quite high up the pitch that we have to make sure we can contain.”

Nadesan, who had two loan spells with United from Fleetwood Town in 2018/19, scored 12 goals in his time with the Cumbrians.

The speedy striker has just three to his name this campaign but has played his part in an improved run under Yems for the 12th-placed outfit.

Tom Nichols, who scored against the Blues in September, and Kwesi Appiah are among the Sussex side’s other attacking threats as they head to Cumbria.

Crawley sit four points outside the play-off places after turning their form around recently.

Millen says he is full of respect for manager Yems and his team.

“I’ve known John well, for a long time now – he spent a long time at Bournemouth with Eddie [Howe] doing different roles, and he’s got a long history with Crawley.

“He’s been there a while and has done ok for the club.

“Recently they’re the form team with three wins, and they’ve gone to Northampton and won 1-0 – and Northampton have been flying.

“That for me shows we can not have any complacency. If they’re going to Northampton and winning 1-0 they’re doing something right.

“We have to make sure we’ve got total respect for what they are, and they’re a difficult team to read and play against.

“You could say it’s two form teams coming together on Saturday so hopefully it’ll be a good game.”

Millen said a recent change of shape, and a switch to a back three, has seen Crawley’s results improve.

United’s own recent form has been built on a solid base, with the Cumbrians seeking a fourth straight clean sheet in the league for the first time since 2008.

Millen, though, insists 19th-placed Carlisle have not cracked it yet and their forthcoming games will set a good examination.

“I wouldn’t say we’re there yet,” he said. “There are some games coming up now which should give us more of an idea on where we are.

“We’ve got Crawley and Hartlepool at home which will be two tough games, then we go to Forest Green and play Sutton.

“I think those games will be a good gauge for us to see where we are. They are games we’ll look forward to because it gives us chance to test ourselves and see how good we can be, but Crawley is the first game.

“It’s one of those games where you aren’t quite sure what they’re going to do which is always a bit of a worry. I like to be clear and be able to tell the players what we expect and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

“Crawley are a team who can beat anyone on their day, and they can have a bad day like most teams. It’s a game which could be a banana skin if we don’t do it right.”