CARLISLE boss John Ward has banned talk of promotion from the Cumbrians’ dressing room, insisting his side still have plenty to do before they clinch their place among the Championship heavyweights next season.
The promotion pendulum swung decisively in Carlisle United’s favour in the final minute of the weekend game with Yeovil thanks to Scott Dobie’s volley.
With Doncaster dropping points against Huddersfield, it brings the Championship into sharp focus for the Cumbrians, but having once again experienced the drama and uncertainty of the League One promotion race on Saturday, Ward is taking nothing for granted.
“I won’t allow any of our players to talk about promotion – it is counter-productive and won’t help us. We aren’t there yet and we have to remain totally focused on winning games before we talk about anything else,” said Ward.
“People outside the club can talk about it as much as they want but we can’t allow ourselves to start thinking ahead because if we do then we’ll end up getting a shock. So there is no talk of promotion or who we’d play in the next division until we get there.”
Ward has been aided by good fortune on the injury front, and will be able to pick the same team for the 10th straight game when the Swans visit Brunton Park tonight. That stability has been key to their success, according to the Cumbrians’ boss. “It has been important. We’re trying to build something at this club and having a core of players who know the place and have been around a long time has helped,” he said.
“I think the big thing for us has been improving our away form. We managed to get a foothold in the promotion race thanks to our form at home but it is really improving away from home that has brought us into contention.”
The long-time leaders of League One have earned plaudits for their brand of passing football and can count Ward among their growing band of fans. He believes the Swans are good value for their place at the summit of the division, but has warned his side not to show them too much respect or risk being blown away by Roberto Martinez’s side.
“We’re up against the best team in the division, undoubtedly,” he said. “In terms of markers they are the team that everyone measures themselves against. I have every respect for what they’re trying to do and they are a very good team who will probably be promoted.
“We know that if you allow them to play and to start knocking the ball around with any kind of confidence then you will end up in trouble, so we have to be prepared to go toe-to-toe with them from the start. ”
People outside the club can talk as much as they want, but we can’t allow ourselves to start thinking ahead