Paul Simpson was pleased to have received his wish - as Carlisle United were handed a home fixture on the opening day of the 2022/23 season.

The Blues will welcome Crawley Town to Brunton Park on July 30 as they kick-off their new League Two campaign, much to the delight of Simpson.

And while fixture lists will be forensically analysed over the course of the next few days, the Carlisle boss has focused his attention on two key periods.

Speaking to the club's official website, he said: "It's funny because everybody in the offices was telling me that they felt we were due an away game to kick things off, and I had to sit quiet as I was thinking - damn, I would really like a home game!

FIXTURE LIST: See Carlisle's schedule in full HERE

"I tend to scan the fixtures and look at the first ten games, then at the last ten. Those games set the tone for how you start and, more importantly, you want to peak for those last ten so that you get yourselves over the line with whatever it is you want to achieve.

"So, it's good to start at home, but it's a lovely local fixture at Sutton to finish!

"Look, you have to play all 46 games, so when or where they happen doesn't really matter.

"It's how you come out over the course of the campaign that matters to us all."

There are, however, some games that have caught the attention of Simpson.

"Picking a few out, I'm looking forward to seeing Kevin [Betsy] and Dan [Micciche] at the end of July," he admitted.

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"They will bring a good footballing philosophy to Crawley and it will be a test.

"The Bradford game on Boxing Day will be excellent. They'll bring thousands and I'm sure the atmosphere will be fantastic.

"We'll digest it all today, and we'll start to prepare for what we hope will be an exciting season."