By Malcolm Nugent - CUOSC

Blues fans were celebrating after a massive ‘derby’ win over Barrow on Saturday earned them Cumbrian bragging rights.

But boss Paul Simpson will have been drilling into his players this week that the job still isn’t done.

It is hard to believe it is just a month since Simpson took over. But the players have exceeded his and certainly the fans' expectations with five wins in six games to give them a 12-point cushion above the relegation places.

If anyone had said after the demoralising home defeat against Swindon in February that we would have 43 points and be tantalisingly close to safety four weeks later we would have thought they were mad.

However, the 50-point mark is when fans generally start to breathe more easily so there is still work to be done - and I’m sure we don’t want a nerve-wracking end to the season.

The Blues will be hoping for a big crowd and more excellent vocal support when they take on in-form Bristol Rovers at Brunton Park this weekend.

The visitors have lost only one of their last 11 games and have their eyes on automatic promotion. We will need to be at our best.

Meanwhile, CUOSC are continuing to try to boost membership numbers, helped by new fans group Unita Fortior.

We will be out and about around the ground, in bars and the fan zone, with application forms before the Rovers game. It costs £10 a year for adults and £5 for seniors and under-16s.

There will also be an opportunity to sign up at our regular supporters’ surgery in the study centre, next to the club shop, between 1.30-2.30pm.

CUOSC are backing a campaign to stamp out pitch invasions and other disruptive anti-social behaviour at games.

The Newport home game was free of pitch invasions - however, items were thrown on to the pitch, giving the club further issues.

Several fans have already been banned from Brunton Park and the club could face sanctions if these disturbances persist.

We are still working on a manifesto which will set out our vision for the future of CUOSC. We aim to have a draft copy ready for our next members meeting when fans will be asked for more of their thoughts.

Planning has also started for the CUOSC Cup at the end of the season. It was originally going to be held on Brunton Park in 2020 but had to be postponed because of Covid restrictions. The competition, for all football fans, received a good response at the time.

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