As Hallam Hope’s afternoon was brought to an early close at Swindon, Kris Twardek was thrown into the fray shortly before half-time.

Ultimately, Saturday’s game proved to be a frustrating one for both sets of attackers as Carlisle United and the Robins played out a goalless draw which did little favours for either sides’ respective aspirations of forcing their way into the League Two play-offs.

Having started on the bench at the County Ground, the Blues’ Canadian international, on loan from Championship outfit Millwall, was called upon with 35 minutes on the clock to replace former Bury frontman Hope as he limped off.

“It was a bit of a weird one,” Twardek admits. “Obviously, you don’t really know how to approach it when you are chucked straight on.

“I think you just try to do the best you can, really.”

Both sides struggled to create openings. Jamie Devitt had Carlisle’s best opportunities in the second half, firing over and testing Swindon’s former Barrow shot-stopper Stuart Moore with two efforts in quick succession, but United were unable to make many clear-cut chances.

Reflecting on the draw, which leaves Keith Curle’s team four points adrift of the promotion places having played a game more than seventh-placed Coventry, Twardek says: “I think, on the day, [the result] was disappointing.

“They got the ball in our box quite a bit and our centre-backs and defenders dealt with that really well. So, I think we maybe just lacked a little bit going forward on the day.”

After the match, Blues boss Curle said he felt his side’s attacking players should have been more patient in their build-up play and that was a statement which attacker Twardek agreed with.

“We probably should have created more chances,” the 21-year-old concedes.

“I think we didn’t even get into attacking areas too often. They were quite solid and maybe that is something us attackers can look at and try to do better for the next game.”

More than 1500 United supporters are expected to descend on Morecambe’s Globe Arena this Saturday for the Cumbrians’ penultimate trip of the regular League Two campaign.

It is a match that Twardek is looking forward to as the Blues go for maximum points from their final four league fixtures this season to keep their slender play-off hopes alive.

He says: “It is a little bit of a derby, so there will be a good atmosphere I think.

“Nothing helps more than winning a derby game, getting those three points and keeping our promotion hopes alive. I think it is a perfect next game to have for us.

“They [the fans] are always class. They are always good, both home and away.

“There is nothing that helps more than having a good fanbase.”

Twardek made an encouraging start to life at Brunton Park as he put in a man-of-the-match performance in their 1-0 win against Forest Green after he had sealed his half-season loan move in January.

He admits it has been “a big learning process”, but also acknowledges results are more important than performances at this stage in United’s campaign.

“At the start [of his Carlisle spell], I had a run of starting games which was good because that is exactly what you want when you are a young player on loan,” he says.

“Then, it is a different role, coming off the bench.

“You just need to stick to your role and keep grafting and, hopefully, get a chance and hopefully take it. It is a big learning process but, at the same time, it is important to get the three points.”

Twardek is targeting maximum points from United’s final four league games this season with Luton and Newport County due to visit Brunton Park and Port Vale, as well as Morecambe, to play away to give themselves the best possible chance of having a grandstand finish to the season which will see them return to the top-seven.

“There are four more games left and there is no point looking back too much,” he says.

“I think 12 points would probably do it for us.”

And Twardek, who has also played for the Czech Republic’s youth sides because of his father’s nationality, believes there is still a positive atmosphere in the dressing room.

He adds: “It has always been good. The boy were class, right from the get-go when I joined as a new player.

“They were always welcoming. I think there is still a belief in the air and, with four games left, there is every chance.”