Carlisle United could go TEN points clear of relegation trouble tonight – but Keith Millen insists he’s still ignoring the table.

The Blues host Hartlepool United (Brunton Park, 7.45pm) hoping to extend their seven-point gap above the bottom two.

Victory over Graeme Lee’s side would prove another major boost in United’s bid to pull away from danger.

But Millen is sticking to his belief that there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on league positions at this stage.

He said: “I know what it’s like. I know if I start looking at it you start dreaming of the what ifs, ‘what if we do this or do that’…

“The reality is, we can get three points, wherever that takes us, great.

“If we can keep going on an unbeaten run, you’re only going in one direction.

“If we were in the top six, everyone would be saying, ‘Can you win to stay in there?’ It’s the same mindset.

“If we win [tonight] we’ll be closer to the people above us. That’s the way you have to be.

“Maybe [when you reach] the last half dozen games where there might be more on those games, that’s when you can start saying, ‘This is a must-win’ for different reasons.

“Until we get there, let’s just concentrate on trying to win.”

United will also be hoping to increase the gap above other strugglers, with Colchester and Stevenage also among the clubs in action tonight.

A win this evening would see Millen’s side overtake the 17th-placed Monkey Hangers, who have a strong home record but have just one win and one draw from 12 away games so far this campaign.

“As far as the league is concerned, we’re looking upwards, that’s all I would say on that,” Millen added.

“It’s a busy week now, with the game [tonight] then travel to Forest Green, so the next two games will give us a little bit more of an idea of where we are.

“We’ve got new players who we are still bedding in, and I’d like to think we’re going to keep getting better.

“There’s still a lot of games to play in the league this year so we’ve got to be consistent in what we’re doing and I think we can still find more room to improve.”

Millen said that, while United’s performance was below par against Crawley in Saturday, he was pleased they were able to fight back for a point.

“Sometimes you can perform really well and lose, but we didn’t perform as well as we have done and we got something,” he said.

“That maybe shows signs of where we are now, that when we’re not at our best we can keep going and keep a belief in what we’re doing.”

United have taken ten points from their last 12, and the manager added: “I’m trying to make the players understand why we’ve had the turnaround.

“It’s not just luck or one thing, it’s a mindset. It comes from hard work and attention to detail.

“If people recognise why you’re on a good run, it’s more likely to continue. I’m trying to get them to recognise and talk about what we’re doing well. If we recognise it, hopefully we will continue doing it and keep getting better.

“That’s the drive I’ve got to try and improve everything at the club, and I think the players have bought into that.”