Paul Simpson says he will offer Carlisle United’s long-term injured duo Josh Dixon and Joel Senior all the psychological support they need.

The two players are facing months on the sidelines as they work their way back from serious injury.

Midfielder Dixon will soon have surgery on a cruciate knee ligament injury and is due to be out until the new year.

Right-back Senior, meanwhile, is continuing his comeback from the knee injury he suffered in the game against Salford City in February.

The former Altrincham and Burnley man is due to return to action in the autumn.

Manager Simpson says that, in the meantime, the two young players can call on him for support.

“It’s a long, challenging road ahead, and what I said to them both on Monday is that, while thankfully I haven’t been in their situation, I understand the challenge they’re going to have,” the Blues boss said.

“If there’s anything at all – physically, emotionally, psychologically, the mental side – that they need help on, they have to come and talk to me, don’t let it fester inside of you.

“Come and speak to me and we will do everything we can to make sure you’re in a good place and can go and do your work.”

News and Star: Josh Dixon (photo: Barbara Abbott)Josh Dixon (photo: Barbara Abbott)

Simpson said Senior, who made a bright start to his Carlisle career before being sidelined in his fifth appearance, was in good spirits at this stage of his recovery.

“It’s incredible the difference I’ve seen in Joel, from the first day I arrived in here to seeing him on Monday – he’s like a different bloke,” United’s boss said.

“He’s got the colour back in his face, he’s moving better, he's enjoying being in the club, which when you know you’re that far away from getting back fit, that’s really difficult.”

Luckless Cumbrian midfielder Dixon is back on the long road to recovery after suffering the third cruciate injury of his young career.

Simpson said the 21-year-old was also in a strong frame of mind as he prepared for his operation later this month.

“He’s in a good place,” Simpson said. “He’s obviously become hardened to this situation with his two previous ones.

“He goes in for surgery on the 24th of this month, I think. That would be the start of it.

“He’s got a few months of tough stuff where he’s going to be in a lot of pain.

“Joel is closer; on my calendar I’ve got him hopefully returning in October of this year. Josh is a little bit longer and we’re looking at February 2023.”

READ MORE: Carlisle United report 'really encouraging' season ticket sales figures