Paul Simpson has pledged to be “cautious” with Carlisle United’s team selection in the Fred Conway Cumberland Cup tomorrow.

The Blues are due to take on Workington Reds at Borough Park (kick-off 7.45pm) if the rearranged quarter-final beats freezing overnight temperatures.

Simpson has first-team players in need of game time, but says he is minded to protect his senior squad with United’s league run-in in mind.

Ryan Edmondson, Jamie Devitt and Ben Barclay are getting closer to fitness and defender Barclay could be involved tomorrow.

But Simpson said it will be predominantly a youth team selected to take on Danny Grainger’s side.

“I will be cautious,” said Simpson.

“There’s a few of them who need some minutes but there isn’t going to be many of them.

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“I want to get through in the Cumberland Cup, I want to respect the competition, but we’ve got bigger fish to fry.

“I need to make sure we have a group that’s available for next week’s game.”

Simpson plans to include fit-again midfielder Josh Dixon on the bench as he eyes his first appearance since returning from the third cruciate knee ligament injury of his career.

On the progress being made by Devitt, Barclay and Edmondson – who all trained on the pitch before Saturday’s League Two victory over Grimsby Town – United’s manager added: “They’re getting closer, they really are.

“Ryan Edmondson trained all [last] week with the group, it’s just when is it too early after shoulder surgery?

“Ben has trained a few days with the group, so there’s a good chance he’ll get some minutes on Tuesday.

“If we feel it will be more beneficial for him to train through the week we’ll get as much running into him as we possibly can.”

United’s depleted first-team numbers means Simpson is reluctant to take risks – but it will mean opportunities to impress for Carlisle’s youth players.

“It’s an opportunity for them to show us what they’re all about,” added Simpson.

“A few weeks ago when the original game was planned we had a very strong side, but we have too many injuries at the moment.

“I don’t like doing this because I’ve got a lot of respect for the Cumberland Cup, and for all cup competitions we want to be involved, but we have to have Saturday in mind.”

Youth team midfielder Kai Nugent, who is currently on loan with Workington, will be in the United ranks for this game.

The winners of the quarter-final will be at home to holders Carlisle City in the semi-finals.

The other semi-final sees Whitehaven AFC at home to Penrith AFC.