Paul Simpson has always been a thorough man. As such, when he answered Carlisle United’s emergency call in February, we probably should have expected him to bring with him from Derbyshire not just an aptitude for winning games in a short-term crisis, but the best opportunity this club has had for years.

He put it straight on the plate of owners and directors who had not, let’s be fair, nailed every last decision over this drab and dwindling era.

He made it so obvious it could have been seen from space.

News and Star: Simpson can now set about the long-term task of revamping United (photo: Richard Parkes)Simpson can now set about the long-term task of revamping United (photo: Richard Parkes)

Thank goodness, then, they’ve not let it pass by. Praise be we haven’t had to analyse the bleak scenario of him leaving in early May. Instead, they’ve gone and done it: recognised that, whatever the alternative was to giving Simmo the controls, it couldn’t hope to tick as many boxes. Not even close.

Seriously – whatever the finer detail of negotiations and demands, who could have spurned this? A man of Simpson’s footballing gravitas and qualities, someone of his natural reach and popularity in this particular community, a person with his still sharp ambition at 55, his respectability and experience and acumen…

…and someone like that wants to be here at Brunton Park, and not just pick up the wage and sit on the merry-go-round for as long as it spins, but entirely revamp the club of his home city?

News and Star: United supporters have rallied behind Simpson (photo: Ben Holmes)United supporters have rallied behind Simpson (photo: Ben Holmes)

Make it, as a footballing entity, half credible again? Restore all the things that have gone missing over the recent years of misadventure and complex influences?

Yep, we’ll have some of that. We’ll hold it as tightly as we can, for as long as possible.

This evidently isn’t just a managerial hiring. With Simpson, it can’t be. Already grounded in Carlisle by his roots, he will return lock stock to the city. He will embed his family back here, back home.

He will turn his meticulous mind to a job which, let’s be absolutely clear, is going to take some doing and is going to require the right sort of help from the right sort of people – not to mention those with the most clout of all at United getting on board with the precious possibilities Simmo now creates.

News and Star: The Brunton Park club is ripe for an "overhaul", Simpson has saidThe Brunton Park club is ripe for an "overhaul", Simpson has said

Right now there is jubilation in Carlisle and across United’s broad fanbase. There are memes – some of them even printable – and positive social media uproar. Older, calmer heads in the support will nod and sagely smile. There will be a merry afternoon at Brunton Park on Saturday, and a mighty travelling army at Bradford a week later: occasions which now have the feel of the first days of something new.

Another day, though, should be just as instructive as these surging waves: last Saturday in the sun at Harrogate Town, when Simpson shot out of the tunnel quicker than normal for his post-match media duties, and laid many cold truths on the line.

What had been witnessed, in terms of a basic performance standard, was “embarrassing,” he said. The correctly scathing reaction Carlisle’s display had elicited from travelling fans is not something Simpson wished to experience again. This was five days after survival had been achieved on Easter Monday: sorcery, quite frankly, given the position he inherited.

News and Star: Simpson's fury after the Harrogate display could be a driving force (photo: Richard Parkes)Simpson's fury after the Harrogate display could be a driving force (photo: Richard Parkes)

Don’t doubt that he’ll take that Yorkshire memory with him, perhaps more than some of the good and dramatic days that preceded it, as he sets about planning now. United’s abysmal lows of 2021/22 are too present and recent in the mind for us to fantasise about sudden and trouble-free transformation.

That’s how it has to be, as the man now gets the licence to get properly stuck in.

It will take time, Simpson said last Saturday, in interviews which seemed, in tone and thrust, to be pointing positively towards this point now. It may take a bit of pain, he added.

News and Star: United's directors, such as chairman Andrew Jenkins, have given Simpson a three-year deal (photo: Amy Nixon)United's directors, such as chairman Andrew Jenkins, have given Simpson a three-year deal (photo: Amy Nixon)

First to suffer that, you have to expect, will be certain players who didn’t and don’t come up to competitive League Two scratch. Next will be anyone who feels that Simpson’s requests, for proper recruitment structuring and various other wishes, are to be resisted.

Another dangerous game would be for anyone to think this appointment sorts out United on its own. The matters of ownership, and debt, remain acute. The Blues in 2021/22 have been hobbling through various states of exhausted disarray. From the top down, the place remains ripe for transformation.

It would, in the circumstances, be an insult to park a man like Paul Simpson in the manager’s office and not also attend to the bigger problems with new focus, and somehow get back on the right side of the power-weakness axis when it comes to who’s pulling the real financial strings.

Seriously – don’t let him fight fires and push up hills all the way through this. Don’t leave a thick, dark cloud hanging over all the good stuff and the extremely positive vibes. Don’t think success is a given, all of a sudden.

News and Star: United must now ride the wave of positivity under Simpson (photo: Richard Parkes)United must now ride the wave of positivity under Simpson (photo: Richard Parkes)

For the moment, though – for these next two games and the fresh days of a second Simmo honeymoon – by all means make the absolute and thorough most of this growing goodwill.

See it, taste it, sell season tickets off it. Recognise that this is what a good Carlisle United feels like: one with a proper and true man in the chair – a canny, shrewd and emphatically Carlisle United man – who people will follow to all points on the map.

A person who has been around the block a little by now, and knows what the team lacks – a robustness, a consistency, an old-fashioned ruthlessness – and will make it his business to sort that. A guy who knows that Carlisle United, here in the spring of 2022, are a flimsy shadow of what they ought to be, and will remain angry about that until it’s no longer the case.

A manager whose very presence at Brunton Park brings that thing we’ve been missing a while.

Hope, it’s called. Turn that down, when it's on a plate, and you may as well lock the gates.

READ MORE: Paul Simpson agrees three-year deal to remain Carlisle United manager