Paul Simpson says the Carlisle United players who have been disciplined over a night out want to apologise to fans for their actions.

But it is not clear if the three players will do so publicly with their names having not been confirmed by the club.

United announced today that they had served the trio with the maximum punishment possible under Professional Footballers’ Association guidelines.

It follows a night out in Carlisle city centre involving the three less than 48 hours before Easter Monday’s defeat to Lincoln City.

Simpson said that all three had held their hands up to their “mistake” and have apologised to the manager.

They also want to express their apologies to their team-mates and fans, Simpson said.

Asked if players would take it upon themselves to do this openly and individually, Simpson said: “They’ve not said anything about going public about it but they’ve made it clear they want to apologise to everybody for it.

“I’m taking it upon myself to apologise because I’m not going to name names, so if they choose to do it off their own back that’s up to them.

“They are sorry for what they did.”

Simpson said United’s internal investigation was concluded today, with the club having considered footage of the city centre incident as well as other evidence.

While Carlisle’s manager said the three deserved to be punished, he said their previous good behaviour was considered when considering club sanctions, as well as mitigating circumstances put forward by one of the players.

“The PFA give you guidelines as to what you can do and we have done it as severely as we possibly could,” said Simpson of the punishment.

“We’ve taken into account there were circumstances that one of them explained that he was involved in and he decided to go out, and the other two went along with him.

“It doesn’t forgive or explain it but their behaviour in the past, [and] circumstances, were taken into consideration and this is what we decided to do.

“I’m not going to go into any more detail.”

Simpson said the players involved are now back with the group having been suspended from the club for a week.

“It’s not been easy [for them] but we’ve kept in touch with them every day,” said the manager.

“We set them work to do away from the group and they’ve all done it.

“They’ll come back into it, and we’ll see whether or not they’re up to it.

“In an ideal world they won’t be involved this weekend because the group that went to Cheltenham [for Tuesday’s 1-0 win] will deserve to go again if they’re all fit.

“But the group at Cheltenham is the only players we had available, plus Tomas Holy. So they may need to be involved, we’ll have to wait and see.”

Simpson underlined his belief that it would be wrong to publicly name the three players involved.

“I don’t think that [would be] fair,” added Simpson, who has omitted Jordan Gibson and Alfie McCalmont out of the last two matchday squads.

“Everybody has jumped to their own conclusions. It has been dealt with in-house. We’ve punished them as much as we could and I’d like to think a line’s drawn under it.

“All three players held their hands up to it, owned up to it, admitted it was a mistake. They apologised to me, they want to apologise to the players, they’ve made it clear they want to apologise to supporters.

“They made a mistake, like young people do. To do it in our current situation doesn’t look right, looks really unprofessional.

“They’ve accepted that, held their hands up and I hope we can move on.”