A defiant Steven Pressley said he would “fight” to turn the corner at Carlisle United after some fans called for his head.

Some supporters chanted for Pressley’s removal during the 4-2 home defeat to Crewe.

Further criticism mounted after United’s defensive woes returned to see them fall to fifth bottom in League Two.

But manager Pressley said he would not buckle under pressure.

He said: “Nobody’s more disappointed than me. But I’ll continue to work hard with these players.

“I’ve seen this all before, I’ve been through this all before. Football these days, the moment there’s disappointment, everybody wants change, everybody wants the answers that way.

“No. Show a bit of fight. Show the fight, show the determination.

“You don’t get to where you want in life by putting down the tools at the first sign of disappointment. No. You fight.”

United went 2-0 down in a dismal first half before Hallam Hope and Christie Elliott levelled things in a four-minute second-half burst.

Crewe, though, then pounced for two more goals and went to the top of League Two as Carlisle conceded four at home in a league game for the first time since February 2017.

Pressley said he understood the flak some fans were aiming, but would not “waver” from the job of trying to improve things, and would “a million per cent” fight on.

He added: “They can vent their anger at me as much as they wish, no problems – I’m the manager and I accept responsibility.

“They are disappointed, but so are we. It’s not a ‘them and us’. I’m the manager of the football club that works tirelessly to try and make this better.

“I want this football club to move forward together, that’s my job. I’ll continue to work in the way that I am and I’ll continue to believe in this group of players, not to waver [from] that.

“I really like this group of players, I think there’s something there, I think in time we’ll turn the corners, but when you’ve gone through difficult periods it’s normal, this is part of it.

“We’re disappointed, but the one thing for sure is we won’t be going hiding.”

He added that “change” was not the answer to the club’s predicament. Pressley said: “Within the 13 [league] games we’ve had some really good performances. But also, we brought in 14-15 players in the summer.

“A lot of the success stories have been given time, and that’s what we need. We need time, we need a club that wants to get behind everybody.

“The answer’s not to make change again, change the personnel again. The answer is to continue to work the way we’re working and improve these players. And they are improving.”

Asked if he believed his team was good enough to deliver better results in the short-term as well as over a longer period, Pressley said: “Yeah, I believe. And, don’t get me wrong, as we go further forward, and down the line, we need more resource, in that we’ll have to add additional players.

“There’ll be players that will come and go, that’s normal when you’re moulding a group. But I think we’ve got the nucleus of a very good group.”

Pressley added that he has a “brilliant” group of players who are united, but he said a failure to press with enough aggression was behind their first-half downfall.

“We got off to the worst possible start and [Crewe’s first] goal kind of deflated us a little bit, and deflated the atmosphere in the stadium. We looked like we never fully recovered from that.

“In the first half we looked a yard away on the press that we’d worked really hard on, and there was a little bit of trepidation when we were pressing – we didn’t go that full yard, that full lock-on press.

“I spoke about it at half-time and there was no real tactical change, we were just far more aggressive in the press, took the shackles off a little bit and pressed the game much better, and in the end got back to 2-2, showing a great character and resilience about us.

“Then they scored the third goal, which set us back again. But there were some real positives in the second half. It was the type of energy and pressing that I want from the team.

“To lose 4-2 was really disappointing. But we have to accept that there’s a lot of work ahead of us. Crewe are a very good side, they proved that here, and we’ve got a bit to go. But we are making strides. We are moving in the right direction in my opinion.”

Carlisle’s directors, who have not yet made any comment on the situation, were joined by new EFL chairman Rick Parry at Brunton Park on Saturday. He is said to be visiting clubs ahead of his new role at the top of the League.

United’s youngsters enjoyed a better Saturday as they earned a 5-1 win at Cockermouth in the Cumberland Cup first round. First-year pro Keighran Kerr scored twice with Jamie Armstrong, Lewis Bell and Liam Lightfoot also on target.