Paul Simpson says extra “nastiness” is needed to arrest Carlisle United’s decline on the pitch.

The Blues manager felt his team were not streetwise enough against a Leyton Orient side who had those traits in abundance.

Carlisle’s 3-2 defeat saw them slump to the bottom of League One and they remain ten points adrift of safety with 16 games remaining.

The manner of Ruel Sotiriou’s winner for the home side demonstrated something Carlisle are lacking, the manager said.

“It was a poor goal because to be fair, Theo Archibald miscontrolled, it's gone under his foot, but we have to just take him out at that point,” said the manager.

“They did it really well. Idris El Mizouni did it, the full-back did it in front of us.

“They took yellow cards for the team really well and stopped any flow.

News and Star: Paul Simpson on the touchline at Brisbane RoadPaul Simpson on the touchline at Brisbane Road (Image: Richard Parkes)

“We didn't. We're too nice. We've got to be better, get a bit of nastiness into us because nice teams end up struggling. And that's why we are struggling.”

Carlisle have the joint eighth most yellow cards in the division this season – 64 – along with three red cards.

While United’s task could get even harder tonight with a number of their fellow strugglers in action, the Blues’ focus now turns to the daunting matter of facing leaders Portsmouth at home next weekend.

Carlisle have lost their last five league games – their worst such run since 2008 – leaving them desperate for an upturn after making seven first-team signings in the January transfer window.

Simpson admits a positive formula must be found soon after the mid-season overhaul.

“It's got to happen very quickly and all we can do is just keep going into training and working with it,” he said.

“I do think for the long term, we've got some good players in.

“I think we've lost some good ones as well in the likes of Joe Garner for his personality, but I just felt as though we really needed a little bit more energy and that's why we've gone with Georgie Kelly, who we think is one for the future, one for the years to come.

“And I think Harrison Neal's a good signing, and Josh Vela’s a good signing because they're good characters.

News and Star: Josh Vela, who scored on his full debutJosh Vela, who scored on his full debut (Image: Richard Parkes)

“I think Harry Lewis is a good signing for us even though we're not giving him a hell of a lot of protection at the moment.

“I think we have made good signings, but we need everybody to step up to the plate at the moment because they can't do it alone and they're not able to do it alone.

“Luke Armstrong will score goals if we can create chances for him and really, I don't think he had a sniff on Saturday, he's not had any opportunity.

“So we've got to find a way to help each other, help everybody to try and make things better for ourselves.”