CARLISLE United could move into the League One play-off places if they can complete their second home win in the space of five days.
The Cumbrians’ play-off hopes suffered a setback last weekend when they lost 2-0 at rivals Notts County.
However, they responded with a midweek win over basement side Rochdale which lifted them back up to seventh in the table – just one place and one point behind County.
If Carlisle can see off struggling Bury this afternoon – and County drop points at runaway league leaders Charlton – Greg Abbott’s side will leapfrog the Magpies to go sixth and will still have two games in hand.
Abbott, whose side is also aiming to extend its unbeaten home run to 14 games, said: “We said after the Notts County game we were not going to give up cheaply and that is the attitude throughout the squad.
“I thought it was very even last Saturday and almost one where the first goal was going to win the game.
“We are genuinely battling away and in contention for the first time in a few years.
“We are getting to the stage of the season where results are taking over and a lot of teams need points for different reasons.
“They are all very interesting games over this period and they will decide where clubs go as we get to the real business end of things.”
Bury arrive at Brunton Park on the back of a nine-game winless streak and having slipped to 15th in the table following their 4-1 defeat at promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday evening.
Abbott, though, warned: “Bury are a good side and they play good football.
“There is a toughness about them, so it will not be easy, but we are going out there to play our game and hopefully keep this home run going.”
Paul Thirlwell (calf), Matty Robson (back) and Rory Loy (broken leg) are still out of action.
Meanwhile, former Middlesbrough defender Stuart Parnaby has left Carlisle after spending a fortnight on trial at Brunton Park.