Paul Simpson says Carlisle United want to “spread the net further” with their recruitment efforts this summer.

The Blues are preparing for a major close-season in the market following their relegation back to League Two.

This week owner Tom Piatak said United needed to move “out of their comfort zone” in the way they scour the market for talent, with the club also set to make greater use of data in how they recruit.

Simpson confirmed they would be looking further afield than before – and also hopes the big project at Brunton Park under the Piataks will make Carlisle a more appealing place to potential signings.

“It just means spreading it further than we are,” said Simpson, when asked to respond to Piatak’s remarks.

“We have a group of part-time scouts who go out and watch games. We’ve got one down south and then the north-east covered, the north west, Yorkshire and that Midlands area.

“We try to cover the whole of the country, but we have found there’s a real challenge to get players to come from the south to commit to come up on permanent transfers here.

“We’re hoping that by sharing the vision of where we want the football club to go [can help].

“[We also hope to benefit from] the fact we can pay a little bit more than we’ve been able to in the past – still not huge amounts that put us at the top end, but putting us in a competitive position, which I have to say is the first time in all my time managing Carlisle United that we’ve been in that position.

News and Star: Simpson hopes United's big project under Tom Piatak, centre, and his family will help attract playersSimpson hopes United's big project under Tom Piatak, centre, and his family will help attract players (Image: Ben Holmes)

“So that’s a real bonus. We’ve just got to work to convince them that this is the place to be.”

While the Piataks will back Simpson with funds to try and make United strong contenders in League Two in 2024/25, the Blues manager admitted he is relieved they will not be competing with some of this season’s big fourth-tier spenders in the basement division market.

“Wrexham, Stockport, Mansfield…at League Two level they’re big clubs. Yes, I am glad they’re coming out of it,” he said.

“We’ve just got to see what happens now, what happens over the next few weeks.

“It’s interesting to see that Barrow are having such a good season as well, we’ll see whether they can get out of the league or whether we can have that local derby that we had there.

“There’s still lots to play for in League Two. The league table isn’t quite confirmed, we don’t know exactly where we are [in terms of all our opponents next season], but we’re focusing on where we are, what we can do, what players we can bring in.

“For months we’ve discussed the areas we know we need to be stronger and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”

Simpson, meanwhile, suggested he was settled in his mind on the decisions he will soon make on out-of-contract players.

The News & Star also asked the Blues manager whether any players still under contract for next season could be moved on.

He said: “It’s one of those situations when you’ve got players who are under contract, and you need to see if anybody wants to take them.

“Every player has a value, a place in the squad.

“If there are players who are still under contract and we have enquiries for them, and we think we can replace them with somebody else, somebody better, then we would consider that.

“But in the ideal world we want to keep the players who we feel are going to help us moving forward and I think that’s the way Tom and the family are thinking as well.”