Steven Pressley has admitted that some of his Carlisle United squad are still not at the fitness levels he is demanding.

Despite the season now being a month old the Blues boss says some players who joined the squad later than others still have work to do.

Pressley said Tuesday’s training session at Brunton Park served to highlight the difference in condition between players who were with United at the start of pre-season and those who arrived later.

He named Newcastle striker Elias Sorensen as one of those who still has plenty of work to do.

Pressley said: “It [the training session] was a tell-tale sign that some of them are still quite a bit behind our main group.

“Some of the players that joined us late physically aren’t ready yet, and I mean that. They’re not up to the levels of our players. This next couple of weeks gives us time to push them on a bit.

“This week [without a midweek game] gives us a chance to work on it and hopefully, slowly but surely, it will begin to build up.

“I understand that we were patient [in our recruitment] but coming with the patience, sometimes players take a bit longer to get up to speed.

“The problem has been that it’s been game, rest, game, rest during this period.

“We’ve tried to work them as much as we can, but it’s not ideal. We have to get them there.”

Sorensen was United’s most recent signing when he joined from Newcastle on a season-long loan on August 16.

The 19-year-old striker has made one start and three sub outings so far.

Pressley said: “In training I can see he’s behind us. He’s got a lot of hard work ahead of him.

“Physically he’s got to improve.

“I really support all this group but that doesn’t mean I don’t think they need more and more.

“It’s my job as manager to absolutely squeeze every ounce out of them. Part of that is to get them as fit as we possibly can, and some still have a bit to go.”

Pressley said centre-half Byron Webster sat out yesterday’s session due to a minor injury concern.

“It was more precautionary,” he said. “He was a little bit tight in his back area and high hamstring, but he’s going to be absolutely fine.”

He said Stefan Scougall has suffered a grade two hamstring tear but backed the midfielder to return ahead of schedule.

“That [injury] can be anything from five to six weeks, but I’m confident that little man will be back sooner than that.

“He’s quite robust and his injury history would tell you he’s a quick healer.”

Pressley also said he took the opportunity of a two-day breather after Saturday’s win at Scunthorpe.

“I’ve had two days where I completely switched off, where my head was out of my laptop,” he said. “It’s the first time in a long time, because I was physically tired.

“I’ve got to be honest, it was 28 gruelling days for us there [that included eight games]. A manager needs a rest a little bit like his players, need a little time to switch off.”

Pressley said Monday’s 5-1 reserve friendly defeat at Sunderland, meanwhile, showed that his fringe players need to do more to push for a first team place.

He said: “There is just now a situation where we haven’t got huge strength in depth.

“A number of the players we’ve brought in have to come under a certain wage bracket and they are players who are going to take time to develop.

“I’m realistic on that, we can’t hide from that. I’m trying everything to maximise this group of players. I love working with them; there’s a lot of work to be done with them.

“[Monday’s game] demonstrated that. The positives were some of the players that needed game time got game time, some played 90 minutes for the first time in a long time.

“From a performance point of view there wasn’t too much to take from it. These players have a lot of development before they’re ready to play first-team football.

“Nobody is working harder than the staff in here to move this club football but we also need support from outside, we need people to understand what we’re doing and to help us on our journey.”