Paul Simpson today laid the credit for his new Carlisle United deal at the door of the Blues’ supporters.

The manager said the hugely positive response he has received since returning to the club has been crucial.

News of Simpson’s three-year contract to remain at Brunton Park has been greeted jubilantly by the United fanbase.

And the Cumbrian said the Blue Army’s own part in things has been fundamental.

“The truth is, if there wasn’t that level of popularity, I wouldn’t have got the job.,” Simpson told the News & Star today.

“People can say whatever they want, but the supporters got me the job here. That’s what’s happened. The way they’ve gone about it. They’ve got me the job.

“The players have gone about their business and got results. I’m here just to oversee it and try and organise it, and manipulate little situations…

“It’s been brilliant. From day one the support we’ve had has been absolutely fantastic, and we’ve got to do everything we can to keep it.”

Simpson said he was “delighted” to have sealed his future at United, and said the matter had been discussed as early as two weeks into his return to the club.

READ MORE: COMMENT: Backing Paul Simpson to rebuild Carlisle United again was a chance too good to miss

The 55-year-old said he had not wanted to commit to anything until the Blues had won their relegation battle.

But he said he felt from an early stage there was an opportunity for him to build something back at Brunton Park.

“I think the supporters have convinced me,” he added. “I think they’ve shown me what sort of backing they can give us.

“I’m also fully aware we’ve got to do everything to keep that because it can turn really quickly.

“We’ve got to do all we can to make sure they stay with us.

“I think they realise there’s issues inside this football club, there’s issues that they’re not gonna solve and I’m certainly not gonna solve either, that we’ve just got to put on the backburner and focus on what goes on on a Saturday.

“Let’s not concern ourselves with the stuff that goes on off the grass, let those people deal with that side of it and make sure the club’s in a better place.

“We have to concentrate on making this a really difficult place for opposition teams to come.

“That starts by supporters keeping a really strong atmosphere and by us performing to a level that makes it difficult.

“So it’s that [that has convinced me], and the positivity the directors and Nigel [Clibbens, chief executive] have shown me as well. It’s always nice to be wanted.”

Simpson said he had not requested a three-year deal, but the fact he had been offered a contract of that length reflected the fact that a long-term challenge lies ahead.

“I think everybody realises that this isn’t going to be something that changes overnight, it’s something we’re going to have to slowly build, take baby steps and get ourselves in a better position,” he said.

“We’ll go into pre-season and try and assemble a group to start pre-season – I fully believe we’re going to have to keep developing it over the pre-season and hopefully have a real strong nucleus ready for the start of the season.

“But it’s going to be a constant build, there’s going to be a turnaround of players. My aim is to try and get a change in the mentality, the belief, the organisation structure, and a positivity back to the club which is what I left in 2006.”

He added of his new deal: “I’m delighted it’s sorted out now. Really this is the start now, the start of trying to make things better at this football club and I’m looking forward to what will be a big challenge.”

READ MORE: Revealed: the huge flag that will welcome the second Paul Simpson era at Carlisle United