Opposition view: Carlisle United poised for opening day trip to Mansfield Town

Carlisle manager Keith Curle is braced for another return to Mansfield.
Carlisle manager Keith Curle is braced for another return to Mansfield.
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Carlisle United are the opponents for Mansfield Town’s first game of the 2015-16 campaign. Here, we assess the Cumbrians ahead of the clash at the One Call Stadium.

Keith Curle makes a return to Mansfield for the opening clash of the Sky Bet League Two 2015-16 season.

United manager Curle, aged 51, will bring his side to the Stags looking to build on last term’s disappointing 20th-placed finish.

Curle has been busy in the summer revamping his squad.

He has brought in the likes of Angelo Balanta, Luke Joyce and Bastien Hery, while experienced hitman Jabo Ibehre has spent much of his career playing in the league above.

On the flipside, the Carlisle boss has lost the services of goalscoring midfielders Kyle Dempsey and Brad Potts, to Huddersfield and Blackpool respectively.

He will be hoping the departure of the pair does not hit United too hard, especially given funds are tight at Brunton Park.

Off the field, there is uncertainty over Carlisle’s ownership with a possible takeover being touted.

Curle though will be looking to put all that aside, as he aims to make a winning return to Mansfield on the opening day.

Asked how close he was to deciding on his line-up, he told the News and Star: “Pretty near. I’d probably say I’ve got nine players that I’m happy with [for the opening game].

“But within that, there are probably 15 players now competing for the starting 10.

“And in that changing room, with the team mentality we have, there are 23 players who, in their minds, are in contention for playing.”

What do you think the outcome will be? Tweet us @ChadSport or email sport@chad.co.uk