Paul Simpson says Carlisle United have faced disappointment with two free agents.

The Blues boss continues to look at the market of unattached players in a bid for some last-minute help to Carlisle’s survival bid.

But a pair of options have not turned out in the way he had hoped.

“We are looking, and we thought there was an opportunity for a couple but they fell by the wayside,” said Simpson, speaking to the News & Star after Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Portsmouth.

“One was just a non-starter when we've ended up looking at his recent clips and stuff – we thought it was too much of a gamble.

“Another one didn't want to come.

“So we're just in that horrible situation where the league table doesn't look attractive for anybody to come in. But we're going to keep going.

“We'll keep working to try and get a free agent if there is one because there is money available.”

News and Star: Georgie Kelly remains on the sidelinesGeorgie Kelly remains on the sidelines (Image: Richard Parkes)

United’s manager, meanwhile, says the Blues are having to be patient with deadline-day striker signing Georgie Kelly.

He is not yet ready to make his debut because of an injury he was carrying from his latter spell with Rotherham United ahead of his move to Brunton Park.

“He’s got a little bit of a calf strain – a really mild one,” said Simpson.

“I think it's a 1A or whatever it is – the least it can be. But when you have calf issues, you've just got to be really patient to get it pain free.

“You can try stepping it up one day, you feel it, and then maybe two days later you try and go again.

“So we're just waiting for that day where he's pain free and we can get him out.”

Joshua Kayode remains on the comeback trail but the loan striker was granted time away from the club last week because of a family bereavement.

Simpson said family must always come first in such situations.

On the striker’s continued injury absence, Simpson said: “JJ says, ‘I feel like I'm letting everybody down’. But there's nothing you can do.

“It was a shocking tackle for him to dislocate his shoulder. That took time. And then it gets to a point where he is coming back into the group around the Christmas or New Year games, and he feels his calf on doing virtually nothing.

“So it's all frustrating. And they're not happy with it, because they want to be out there trying to help the group.”