Paul Simpson says everyone must “keep their heads” as criticism grows over Carlisle United’s losing run.

The Blues slumped to the bottom of League One after a fifth straight defeat at Leyton Orient.

The 3-2 reverse in east London means United are on their worst losing run since 2008.

With third-tier survival now looking an increasingly remote prospect, manager Simpson said a level-headed approach was important.

“I've got to deal with it. I've got to have a clear mind of how I want to go about it, and I do,” the Blues boss told the News & Star.

“I don't for one minute think I was a fantastic manager when we got promotion. And I don't think I'm a horrendous manager now.

“I think it's just about being calm and just keep doing what we're doing. All I can say is the only thing that's in my mind is to try and make this football club better.

“We're getting brilliant support from a new ownership group [the Piatak family]. And I also got great support from the previous ownership group.

News and Star: Simpson on the touchline at OrientSimpson on the touchline at Orient (Image: Richard Parkes)

“And this is a tough, tough, testing time.

“I'm going to keep my head, I hope everybody keeps their head and we've got to keep battling.

“We've got to keep doing the things that we believe are right to make the club better. And that's all I can do.”

Carlisle took the lead at Orient through full debutant Josh Vela but found themselves behind at the break thanks to Shaq Forde’s double.

Ruel Sotiriou hit a third for the in-form Os before sub Sean Maguire, on for the injured Jack Diamond, scored a consolation from the penalty spot in added time.

It was another poor showing from United, who have conceded 15 goals in their last five games.

The Blues felt Orient’s second goal came from a corner which should not have been given – Simpson arguing that it was either a foul on Ben Barclay in the build-up, or handball against the Blues defender should have been awarded.

But he admitted Carlisle’s defending of the resulting corner was poor and said United needed to look at their set-piece work.

News and Star: Owners Tom and Patty Piatak and fellow United directors are joined by Paul Simpson's West End star son Dom (back row, second left) at Leyton OrientOwners Tom and Patty Piatak and fellow United directors are joined by Paul Simpson's West End star son Dom (back row, second left) at Leyton Orient (Image: Richard Parkes)

“We’re making so many individual mistakes. And it's as simple as that,” he said.

“All goals come from mistakes, but we've just got a catalogue of them.

“It’s the other side as well, because we're not really allowing ourselves to build up any momentum in games.

“We get ourselves into a good position, we press well, and we win the ball and we can't find the right pass to go on and give ourselves an opportunity.

“We get set plays, and we can't put a delivery in behind them from players who are more than capable of doing it.

“So there are all sorts of things that are costing us. And the truth is, you don't go bottom of the league after 30 games because you do loads of things right – we're doing a load of things wrong, and we've got to change it very quickly.

“We knew this was always going to be a tough game but the truth of it is we’re in serious trouble and this was a day we needed to start getting wins.”