The worst side in the Football League will visit the One Call Stadium on Saturday, seeking just their second league win since February.
No wins, no manager and even no replica kits for sale in the club shop, it’s easy to understand why the morale amongst fans at Brunton Park is at a low not seen since the dark days of former Chairman Michael Knighton.
Defensively inept, toothless in midfield and as incisive as a set of safety scissors up front, Carlisle can’t complain about being in a false league position.
In fact, with the performances on offer this season, it’s hard to believe that any potential new manager would want to take over responsibility for this lot.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way though. A summer clear out at the end last season following relegation from League One took place, and to his credit former manager Graham Kavanagh brought in what looked like on paper, a wealth of experienced players in key positions who would put us right up there come the end of the season.
However, the majority of the new signings have either disappointed on the field or missed games due to injury or suspension.
Despite the new blood, if you didn’t know differently, you’d think you were watching the same team that was relegated from League One last year.
Any decent opposition manager will quickly figure out that David Symington (Who’s confidence must be shot to pieces) isn’t a proper right-back, and that Sean O’Hanlon has the pace of a tranquilised elephant. Teams with pacey wingers and forwards continue to exploit these deficiencies to help themselves to a glut of goals.
Our insistence on playing three across midfield is alarming, and it’s this formation that has meant we’re frequently on the back front from the off, as our midfield struggles to get a foothold in the game.
Our attacking game usually consists of lobbing long balls up to Billy Paynter, who any decent manager (I’m spotting a recurring theme here) will tell you, needs a partner up top with him in a 4-4-2.
Billy must wonder why he bothered to sign for us, you can be best the striker in the world, but with the service he gets you’re not going to get goals.
There have been few bright spots so far this year, but the form of young forward Kyle Dempsey has to be considered a positive.
The youngster from nearby Workington has netted three goals so far this year, and looks to have bags of potential.
With growing vitriol from supporters, one would have thought that the board would have acted quickly to appoint a new manager, but, at the time of writing, almost three weeks later we’re no closer to finding out who the new man in charge will be.
Caretakers Tony Caig and Paul Thirlwell (who will be suspended as a player tomorrow for his midweek sending off) will continue at the helm.
Their task will be made slightly easier by the returns of Alex Marrow, Danny Kearns and Troy Archibald-Henville for the game tomorrow, but it would take Jose Mourinho to sort this mess out at the moment, and unfortunately, I can’t see anything other than a win for The Stags.
What do you think about tomorrow’s game? Email your views to Stephen Thirkill