Ok, time to think positively again. Go on, just for a little while at least.

Carlisle United might have made an immediate crash-landing back to League Two, having spent nearly a decade trying to get out of it…but it’s not all bad, is it?

Here are some reasons to look forward to life back in the fourth tier in 2024/25, instead of feeling miserable about the prospect…

1 More wins

Well, you’d think so, wouldn’t you? And I realise we’re not aiming to clear a high bar here given Carlisle managed just seven victories from 46 last season.

But surely there will be a few more weekends and weeknights when we’re not feeling so thoroughly deflated by the sight of the Blues losing yet again.

It’s not always the case that you win more matches the season after a relegation. It certainly didn’t happen for United in 1975/76…or 1986/87…or 1998/99…

Er…ok. But it has after the other relegations. Keep the faith. More wins.

News and Star: A regular sight next season...hopefullyA regular sight next season...hopefully (Image: Barbara Abbott)

2 Northern soul

The heart of League Two is going to be, for once, closer to its Cumbrian northern pinnacle in 2024/25.

A much bigger cluster of teams than normal above the equator (ie the Midlands) will be within easier reach for United and their fans.

Barrow, Morecambe, Fleetwood Town, Accrington Stanley, Salford City, Bradford City, Tranmere Rovers, Harrogate Town, Doncaster Rovers, Chesterfield, Port Vale, Notts County, Walsall, maybe also Crewe Alexandra depending on the play-off final…none of those are at the brutal end of the travelling scale. For once, it’s the southerners having to clock up the miles. About time.

News and Star: Morecambe: one of a cluster of northern teams in League Two next seasonMorecambe: one of a cluster of northern teams in League Two next season (Image: PA)

3 Local rivals

Ah, that sweet taste of derby magic again…

Ok, it’s not a derby. Not really. Well, kind of. But we can still look forward to two episodes of heartwarming online debate about whether Barrow is really in Cumbria, and how many fingers each set of supporters believes the other lot possess.

However much some try to deny it, there is good,  genuine and sharp needle about the Blues v Bluebirds contests. Even the managers tend to join in. And who’s not up for a bit of that again?

News and Star: Carlisle fans will be back at Holker Street next seasonCarlisle fans will be back at Holker Street next season (Image: Richard Parkes)

4 New destinations

Hello, for the first time, to the Hayes Lane Stadium.

If you’re going to have to trek a good 330 miles to the other end of the country, at least make it to a ground you’ve never visited before.

Bromley away, whenever that fixture falls, will be a new one to tick off for United and their fans (and most others in League Two for that matter). No doubt it’ll be a Tuesday night in December.

News and Star: Bromley's Hayes Lane Stadium...a new ground to tick off in 2024/25Bromley's Hayes Lane Stadium...a new ground to tick off in 2024/25 (Image: PA)

5 Proper grounds

Ok, League One wasn’t short of them. But there are still stadiums aplenty in the fourth tier whose name and stature make them good to visit.

Notts County’s Meadow Lane is embedded in history. Tranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park is an old classic. Bradford City’s Valley Parade (ok, maybe not its pitch) is levels above League Two.

The, er, bespoke away end at Gillingham, the waft of pies at Morecambe…others have their character, and we’ll taste them again.

News and Star: Meadow Lane...a proper ground back on United's calendarMeadow Lane...a proper ground back on United's calendar (Image: PA)

6 No big beasts

A quick glance at the current and almost-completed line-up for League Two in 2024/25 does not set the nerves aquiver.

Nothing should be taken for granted, and United have much work to do in order to leave last season’s struggles behind.

But the fourth tier does not, this time, have the financial might of a Stockport, or a Wrexham. There are no particular fallen giants wandering the land (unless you count Bradford, who've been making a pig's ear of getting out of the division for several years now). An opportunity, then, for anyone who plays it right.

News and Star: Bradford remain in League Two...but it's a division without many big beastsBradford remain in League Two...but it's a division without many big beasts (Image: PA)

7 Old friends

There are familiar faces everywhere you look in 24/25’s League Two running order.

No doubt the meetings with our old play-off foes Bradford City will pass off with minimal banterous discourse...

Then there are the individuals we’ll see again, whether it be Paul Thirlwell at Harrogate, Byron Webster at Bromley, Paddy Madden at (probably) Chesterfield, Mike Jones at (definitely) Chesterfield, Joel Senior at Morecambe, and no doubt plenty more once the summer market does its thing. Some reunions may be fonder than others…

News and Star: Mike Jones...among the players we'll have a reunion withMike Jones...among the players we'll have a reunion with (Image: PA)

8 Harrogate

Yes, I mean it. Lovely town, Betty’s Tearoom. Oh, you mean the football…

Well, come on. Let’s think positively. United kind of ended the jinx last season, finally beating these sulphur-shirted nuisances in the Devalued Trophy.

Now, thanks to relegation, we get two more cracks at banishing the league demons for good. Imagine celebrating an actual victory at the EnviroVent Stadium? The party could last for months.

News and Star: This lot. Again.This lot. Again. (Image: Barbara Abbott)

9 Other treats

Everyone will have their own quirks they’ll enjoy in League Two and the aspects they won't miss in League One.

Personally, I’m relishing Swindon’s iconic magic roundabout again if it means an early crack at the Greek scran outside the County Ground.

I’m also looking forward to some earthier player names in the fourth tier. If it means not having to type Reading’s Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan several times in a live blog, then relegation will have been totally worthwhile.

News and Star: You have to go round in circles...literally...to reach the County GroundYou have to go round in circles...literally...to reach the County Ground (Image: PA)

10 Numbers game

Ok, this isn’t strictly speaking about League Two, it’s more about the fact it’s 2024/25. And when the season ends in five, things happen at Carlisle United.

1964/65 – third tier champions

1974/75 – a top-flight team.

1994/95 – fourth tier champions.

2004/05 – promoted from the Conference.

2014/15 – Keith Curle giving interviews about male genitalia…

Set your watch by it. The Blues are going up…maybe.

News and Star: When the season ends in 5, United come alive...sometimesWhen the season ends in 5, United come alive...sometimes (Image: News & Star)