Paul Simpson says Carlisle United’s aim now is to avoid finishing rock bottom of League One.

While the Blues are relegated, Simpson says a “small win” can still be achieved by climbing from 24th position.

Carlisle host play-off chasing Blackpool (Brunton Park, 3pm) in their penultimate home fixture this afternoon.

United, who are already consigned to League Two next season, are four points behind second-bottom Fleetwood Town.

“I talk about small wins,” said manager Simpson.

“The small wins won’t actually change the whole complexion of the season but we have to go for small wins.

“If a small win is not finishing bottom of the table then we’ve got to do everything we possibly can to try and get that.

“What I will say is the players are adamant that’s what we have to do as well. We’ve got to keep going.”

Simpson is checking on the fitness of Fin Back and Harrison Neal ahead of today’s visit of Neil Critchley’s eighth-placed Seasiders.

Blackpool are set to bring a sell-out four-figure travelling support as they look to boost their top-six chances – while United are seeking back-to-back wins for the first time this season, and a first home win since New Year’s Day.

“It’s very important,” added Simpson on the need for a long-overdue Brunton Park victory.

“We’ve got to do as much as we possibly can. What I will say is it’s not been through a lack of trying – the effort’s certainly been there, it’s just been a lack of quality, and maybe we’ve not had the luck, and other times we’ve come up against teams who are better than us, as simple as that.”

Simpson conceded that it is down to his team to lift supporters, rather than simply expecting the Brunton Park faithful to lift the team today.

“There have been many times when they’ve been coming in and making a noise but we’re at that point where we’ve got to lift them,” he said.

“Blackpool will be a sell-out in their section. We’ve got to make sure we give our home fans something to shout about.

“We’ve had little patches in games where we’ve been able to do it but we’ve got to try and do it consistently over the whole of the match.”

United lost 3-0 to today’s opponents at Bloomfield Road in December, and Simpson expects a more footballing challenge to the more direct offerings his side countered at Cheltenham Town in Tuesday’s 1-0 win.

News and Star: Paul Simpson played for today's opponents Blackpool from 2000 to 2002Paul Simpson played for today's opponents Blackpool from 2000 to 2002 (Image: PA)

“They’re a footballing team,” said Simpson of his former club.

“They want to play out from the back, they’ve got forward players in Jake Beesley and Shayne Lavery who are playing at the moment, and the wing-backs are positive – CJ Hamilton is a winger, effectively, but he’s playing as a wing-back.

“They’re a positive side. But they’ll be coming here thinking they need to win, to give themselves a real good chance of getting in the play-offs – they’re three points outside it.

“They managed to scrape a 1-0 win against Fleetwood the other night, and they’ve been on the positive end of winning by the odd goal whereas we’ve had 16 or 17 games where we’ve lost over this season by the odd goal.

“We’ve got to make sure we get ourselves on the right end of a positive result.”