Keith Millen admitted Carlisle United were short of a target man as they were put to the sword by leaders Forest Green Rovers.

League Two’s top team brought the Blues’ five-game unbeaten run to a clinical end.

Manager Millen said the 3-0 defeat highlighted United’s shortcomings in attack.

And he said the home side’s strengths showed something Carlisle were lacking.

“They’re effective,” he said. “It’s not rocket science – they’ve got a big centre forward [Jamille Matt] that’s a handful, and we struggled to deal with him.

“Anything that goes into him generally sticks or he flicks things down, and they’ve got runners off him.

“It’s not some fantastic way of playing or rocket science, but they’ve got people effective in what they do.

“We need to maybe look at the balance of our attacking options. Maybe we need something a little bit different to what we’ve got.

“We’ve got a lot of pace, runners, but maybe we need a bit more of a target, whether it’s a bigger target man or a clever one in a pocket.

“That’s what we’re looking for. Whether we can find that is a different story.”

Morgan Feeney’s own-goal put the home side ahead, and Matty Stevens and Jamille Matt struck in the second half.

The 20th-placed Cumbrians remain eight points above the League Two relegation zone.

Millen said the Blues would be working hard to bring in more signings before next Monday’s deadline, saying: "We’re trying to do one or two more, so it’s not a case of being patient, it’s trying to get them done.

"We know what we need, we’re just trying to get them. We’ve got just over a week so we’ll be trying to do some business."

And he has called on his players to be proactive in how they learn from Saturday’s defeat.

“You don’t mind losing if you learn from the lessons of what’s happened,” he said.

“It’s not good if you don’t learn from it. That’s why I said to the players, ‘How about you looking at the video and learning from it?’

“This is where we want to be. We all want to be seven points clear at the top.

“So don’t just rely on me, you need to look at yourself as well.

“I want to take this club to where Forest Green are. It’s something we need to work on, and we will.”

Millen admitted that, for all their efforts, they were short in the areas that matter most.

“I think probably the first time for a long time we were second best in both boxes,” he said.

“Physically we’ve not been like that, we’ve been very good. This time we were second best in both boxes. That’s generally why you lose a game.

“It is probably an evaluation of where we are. But I think a big lesson for all of us will be if you leave yourself wide open, you can get punished, and that’s something I don’t want us to be and we haven’t been for some time.

“We will cut that out.  But the bigger concern is our front players, individually and as a group, not being effective enough.

“We are building our play up, getting into good areas, but we’re not taking our chances or creating more chances in the final third.”