Paul Simpson says the chance of securing safety over Easter weekend should be all the motivation Carlisle United’s players need.

The Cumbrians will be mathematically clear of relegation if they win at Walsall on Good Friday and third-bottom Oldham Athletic lose to Northampton Town.

It means United can finally complete the job that looked far from straightforward when Simpson took the helm only ten games ago.

While only a positive day on Friday can see things wrapped up with four games to go, manager Simpson says the fact safety is in sight ought to inspire his players

“People talk about a carrot and stick to motivate you – well, that’s a carrot, not a stick,” the Blues boss said.

“We have to make sure we think of it as a carrot, not as a bit of a burden we struggle with.

“We’ve given ourselves a really good chance, a great chance in fact, and we have to go and do it.

“I want five really, really positive performances that hopefully will lead to many results out of those five.”

United are preparing for their Easter double-header – they also host Mansfield next Monday – at a time they are ten points above the drop zone.

Their chances of kicking for the line have slowed in their last three games with one point from a possible nine.

Their earlier revival under Simmo, though, has still put them in a great position to safeguard their status.

Other strugglers, Stevenage and Barrow, both still have a game in hand which could potentially prolong matters for the Cumbrians should they fail to win this weekend.

Simpson, whose side were beaten 1-0 at home by Exeter City on Saturday, says he is looking forward to the busy weekend of Easter action.

“It’s intense, but I’m not gonna complain about it,” he said.

“Everybody used to say to me, ‘What a drag that is, playing games over Christmas’ and so on…

“No, it isn’t a drag. It’s a drag when you’re out of work and not involved in it, or it’s a drag when you’re not involved in professional football.

“So having to play at Easter…I’m not a religious person so it won’t affect my churchgoing.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re right. We’ve got two really important games followed by three more after it.

“We have to be right, it’s as simple as that, I would imagine we’ll have some good numbers travelling to Walsall.

“I would like to think if we get a good result there we’ll have some good numbers here on Monday to watch us against a team competing at the top in Mansfield.

“I keep saying we have a duty of care to do it properly, and it’s a brilliant thing to be involved in two games over Easter weekend – but the biggest thrill is we’re still involved in professional football and that’s what we all enjoy.”