He has only been back at the club for a month – but already Paul Simpson has claimed a piece of Carlisle United history.

Simmo’s record of five wins and one defeat from his first six league games at the helm is the best EVER start by a manager at Brunton Park.

Simpson’s second spell at his home-city club has seen the Cumbrians open up a 12-point gap above the relegation zone.

And in the process the 55-year-old has outstripped all his predecessors in terms of their start to life in the hotseat.

Simpson and his team have delivered 15 points from a possible 18 since his appointment on February 22.

Picking up a team that had taken one point from its previous six league games, the Blues boss has overseen victories over Leyton Orient, Rochdale, Oldham Athletic, Northampton Town and Barrow.

The home defeat to Newport, in his fifth game back at the club, is the only blemish on Simmo’s remarkable return to the Blues.

No manager in United’s Football League history has won five of his first six games in the league.

The closest to Simpson is Bob Stokoe, whose first spell in charge of the club in 1968 began with four wins and two draws.

John Ward also made a strong start in 2007, winning four, drawing one and losing one to begin with.

United’s longest-serving boss Fred Emery also enjoyed a good start in 1951, with three wins and three draws in his first six.

Simpson, in 2022, though, has outstripped those and other top names from United’s dugout history, such as Mick Wadsworth, Alan Ashman and Bill Shankly.

The United manager told the News & Star that Carlisle’s form since he arrived as Keith Millen’s successor had exceeded even his expectations.

Asked if such a run had gone better than he had dared hope when returning to the club, manager Simpson said: “I’ve got to say yes.

“I was going to say I wouldn’t have dreamed that but I didn’t sleep long enough to dream the night when I got asked to come in.

“It’s been a brilliant start, really, really good. Maybe just by a different voice, just a little tweak of things, belief from the players, and everybody working really, really hard…and that’s why we’ve got the rewards.”

Simpson is now in the unusual position of holding two records when it comes to managerial starts at United – for he is also the only boss to start with six consecutive league defeats.

That came at the start of his first permanent spell in charge in 2003, when he was promoted from caretaker and tasked with rebuilding a struggling side left by Roddy Collins.

His current United team, meanwhile, will hope to make it six wins from seven this weekend against another in-form side – Bristol Rovers.

Joey Barton’s Pirates, who sit fourth in the table, have also won five of their last six games, and eight of their last ten.

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