Paul Simpson admits he’s “delighted” Carlisle United’s game at Barnsley has been shelved this weekend.

The manager feels the postponement has come at the ideal time for the Blues to regroup.
United have been hit by a series of injuries recently amid their battle to climb the League One table.

They are also continuing in their efforts to add to their squad via the free agent market.
Carlisle were due to take on the Tykes at Oakwell but international call-ups for the home side saw the game postponed.

It means Simpson’s team must wait until Saturday, November 25 for their next game, at home to Charlton Athletic.

While Simpson said the intervening time will see plenty of work on the training ground, he is also glad to have the opportunity to take stock.

“I love games of football but I’ve got to tell you, I’m delighted the game’s off on Saturday,” said Simpson.

“Because we’ve got to try and regroup a little bit, we’ve got to try and have a little bit of work on the grass, get them freshened up but keep them working as well, and next Monday we’ll really start our preparation for Charlton.

“It’s still a work week. Wednesday [was a] rest day, Thursday a second day of recovery for the lads who played on Tuesday, and Friday we are going to work, possibly even Saturday we’re going to train.

News and Star: Charlton, who won their FA Cup first round replay at Cray Valley Paper Mills on Wednesday, are Carlisle's next league opponents on November 25Charlton, who won their FA Cup first round replay at Cray Valley Paper Mills on Wednesday, are Carlisle's next league opponents on November 25 (Image: PA)

“If we can get a surface, that is…because of the amount of rain we’ve had I dread to think what our training pitch is like, and I know Gretna is booked up until Saturday afternoon, so that’s out.

“We’re going to work, then they’ll get Sunday at home with their families, then we’re back in.”
Simpson will use some of the time without a game to redouble his efforts to add to Carlisle’s squad.

United's position in the survival fight will be unaffected this weekend with just two games in League One taking place.

Those see fifth-placed Stevenage take on ninth-placed Lincoln City, and eighth-placed Blackpool host 16th-placed Shrewsbury.

Only one other third-tier game is played between now and next weekend, with Leyton Orient (13th) hosting Lincoln next Tuesday in a game rearranged after the original fixture was abandoned after a medical emergency in the crowd which lead to the death of Os supporter Derek Reynolds.

When United do resume action it will be in third-bottom position, three points adrift of the safety line. Simpson expects Owen Moxon (dead legs) and Sean Maguire (illness) to be available after missing Tuesday’s Bristol Street Motors Trophy win over Harrogate Town.

On the idea of taking stock in a period without a game, Simpson added: “The way I am, I always sort of reflect and assess how we’re going.

“The truth of the matter is, the assessment is we’re not doing as well as I want us to do. That’s us as staff as well.

“We’ve all got to improve, to improve to get results. But we can just rally round the players and hope what we’ve done [on Tuesday] will give us a little bit of a boost taking into the next game.”