Steven Pressley said his side had got the “monkey off our back” by chalking up a much-needed away win.

He admitted his side had not performed well at Scunthorpe but said the 1-0 victory – a first league win on the road since January – was all-important.

Sub Ryan Loft’s 60th-minute goal was the difference and Pressley said: “It wasn’t the type of performance we’ve become accustomed to this season but it was a different type of win and sometimes you need to win these ways.

“It was a performance I was proud of in the mentality but not in the way we played.

“It is the three points that matters. The ironic thing is we’ve played a lot better away from home but haven’t quite shown the steel to get the points.

“I spoke before the game about that – we had to show that away game mentality and thankfully we did.”

On matchwinner Loft, who struck his first senior goal, United’s manager added: “I think there’s more to come from his performance. But it’s very important for a young player when he comes on loan, a bit like Fela [Olomola], that he gets off the mark.”

Loft scored after replacing Elias Sorensen at the break, after a half when Carlisle failed to muster a single shot.

Pressley said his side looked tired after a busy recent run of fixtures.

But he praised his defenders for seeing off League Two’s bottom side on a day the Cumbrians were short of attacking inspiration.

He said: “We didn’t play well, in fact we were really poor in the game, we didn’t play what I call our Carlisle way.

“But we found it, we got the breakthrough and we dug in.

“We looked fatigued, we looked tired from Tuesday’s exertions [at Rochdale] – I cannot tell you how hard they worked on Tuesday.

“But the most important thing was coming away from home and winning. One, our away performances haven’t been good enough, so to get that monkey off our back, get that first away win of the league season is really important. Also to be able to win ugly is really important as well for our confidence.

“Although I don’t think our confidence had been dented, you always need that win. Our supporters need that win, everybody needs that win. Thankfully we got it.

“The area of the pitch I was absolutely delighted with was our two centre-backs. I’ve got so much faith in these two players [Byron Webster and Nathaniel Knight-Percival] and they answered every question – they were outstanding.”

Pressley also praised right-back Christie Elliott for his display after he had been a doubt for the game due to illness.

He said he had brought Loft on for Sorensen in the 46th minute for tactical reasons, after a half-time break when Pressley had “raised my voice for 10 minutes”.

He said: “One area we had felt we could exploit Scunthorpe was the area in the number 10 position when they normally play 4-4-1-1.

“But they were also conscious of where we could hurt them, and they denied that space by bringing [Yann] Songo’o in.

“It didn’t allow us to get into the areas where we felt we could utilise Sorensen’s ability. That was the reason for the sub.

“I think there’s more to come from [Loft’s] performance. But it’s very important for a young player when he comes on loan, a bit like Fela, that he gets off the mark.

“He had a good influence on the goal, the first contact, winning that, getting alive for the second one, and a good finish. I’m really pleased for the kid.”