On the back of a couple of positive results, it was frustrating to see Carlisle United suffer two consecutive losses this week.

After the Blues had won at Stevenage, and then followed that result up with a draw against Forest Green, I was hoping Steven Pressley’s side could start an unbeaten run. But that hasn’t materialised, with Carlisle falling to a 3-1 defeat at Bradford and then also losing 4-2 at home to Wolves’ Under-21s in their opening Leasing.com Trophy tie on Tuesday.

At Valley Parade, it was the same old set-piece flaws which cost United, with the Bantams’ second goal coming as the Cumbrians failed to defend a free-kick on Saturday.

Pressley himself was, obviously, a talented defender who played international football for Scotland and I’m sure he will be working on these issues with his side.

But we are coming up to the quarter-season mark this campaign already, and I think you need to question whether the current defence is capable of solving these problems.

This term, United have conceded 18 goals in 10 league fixtures, and it could have been more, had it not been for some impressive displays by goalkeeper Adam Collin.

Carlisle certainly seem capable of creating chances and scoring goals, but they definitely need to work on not shipping quite so many at the other end.

In reality, the Cumbrians are lucky to be only six points outside the play-offs at this stage in the season.

But, having said, half the league - from sixth-placed Bradford to Carlisle in 18th - are only separated by six points. So, it’s still very tight.

At the top of the table, leaders Exeter have been there or thereabouts for quite a few years now. But I’m not so sure many would have predicted Crewe would also be in the automatic promotion places, too, currently lying second. While, at the other end of the table, Mansfield are, surprisingly, struggling and sit a point and a place behind the Cumbrians.

Despite Blues boss Pressley making eight changes in midweek, it was still concerning to see United get beaten by an Under-21s side, largely thanks to Benny Ashley-Seal’s hat-trick for Wolves.

While Carlisle were losing to Wolves’ Under-21s, in front of a crowd of 893, league rivals Colchester were producing a huge upset as they beat Premier League team Tottenham on penalties in the Carabao Cup.

I’m no manager but, when Mauricio Pochettino is rotating his Spurs side around, and then finally bringing on Son Heungmin, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen in the final 20 minutes, I’m not sure it’s fair to expect them to change the game in that time - no matter how good those players are.

Tomorrow, United have a crucial game as they host fellow strugglers Oldham Athletic. In the Lactics’ last four matches, they have drawn three and won one, so they are on a little run.

They have a new manager in charge, too, in the form of ex-Stevenage boss Dino Maamria and it seems he is certainly having some kind of impact at Boundary Park.

If either side can claim a win this weekend, they could easily jump into the top-half of the table because the league is currently so tight.

Of course, this is a game I always look for, as two of my former clubs face one another.