Paul Simpson says he won’t stop believing Carlisle United can pull off an unlikely League One survival.

The Blues head to Burton Albion tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) desperate for an uplift after six straight defeats.

Bottom side United are 11 points adrift of safety but manager Simpson says his team won’t give up the fight.

“The league table’s horrible, we know we're in a horrible situation, we know it's going to be tough – but the big thing we have to do is keep going,” said Simpson.

“We've got to just keep driving each other on.

“I will keep believing until it's mathematically impossible.

“The last time I was here, when we got relegated [in 2003/04], we took it to the second last game of the season because we had a right go.

News and Star: Carlisle defeated Burton 2-1 at Brunton Park in OctoberCarlisle defeated Burton 2-1 at Brunton Park in October (Image: Barbara Abbott)

“The first period when I came back in here [in 2022], and we had those last 15 games, we had to keep going right up until the last couple of weeks.

“We will keep going even if it's for pride, even if it's for these fantastic supporters who are turning up week-in, week-out.

“We've got to keep going and we've got to give them something to smile about.”

Carlisle tonight head to the Pirelli Stadium for only the second time in the EFL as they take on Martin Paterson’s 17th-placed Brewers.

It starts a run of games against sides in the middle to lower reaches of League One – United’s last realistic period to claim the wins that can give their flagging survival chances late hope.

“Burton are a good side that cause problems,” said Simpson on tonight’s hosts.

“They've got some big, big experienced players there. It's not an easy place to go, Burton. So it's another tough game.

“But the truth of it is, we've had 30 tough games in League One, we've found it really tough this year, but we've got to dust ourselves down and we've got to be ready to go again.

“These next two games [against Burton and 16th-placed Cambridge United] are a good opportunity.

News and Star: It is Carlisle's first trip to Burton since 2015's 1-1 draw in League TwoIt is Carlisle's first trip to Burton since 2015's 1-1 draw in League Two (Image: Barbara Abbott)

“I felt on Saturday [against Portsmouth], we got close to giving ourselves a good opportunity, but not close enough.

“Now the next two games, we've got to go about them [in the right way] and try and get something out of them.”

Simpson is assessing Jack Diamond ahead of the game after his second-half substitution with a knock on Saturday.

Josh Emmanuel may not yet be ready to return having missed training with illness last week as he returns from injury.

News and Star: Jack Diamond went off on Saturday in the second halfJack Diamond went off on Saturday in the second half (Image: Barbara Abbott)

Burton’s keeper is ex-United man Max Crocombe while their squad could include 18-year-old defender Finn Delap, son of former Blues star Rory.

Carlisle's only previous league trip to Burton saw a 1-1 draw late in the 2014/15 season. Danny Grainger was on target with a free-kick for Keith Curle's Blues and Mark Gillespie saved a penalty before the Brewers struck in added time.