Carlisle United kick off a “very important period” today, with Graham Kavanagh confident his side can use it to ease their relegation concerns.
The Cumbrians are a point and two places above the League One drop zone, after Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United extended their winless run to four games.
They welcome Stevenage to Brunton Park this afternoon with Graham Westley’s team one point and a place below them.
Thereafter, their next three games are at basement club Notts County, at home to second-bottom Shrewsbury Town and at fourth-bottom Tranmere Rovers.
So Kavanagh is keen to “harness” a “very good spirit” among his players, and begin to climb away from the lower reaches of the table.
“We know we’ve got the players to do the job and get us out of trouble,” he said.
“We’ve had to use younger lads at times but they’ve all stood up and given their all. That’s all you can ever ask.
“We’ve got a very good spirit in that dressing room and we need to harness that and make sure we are at our maximum every week.
“We now have a run of games against teams who are around us and it is a very important period.
“As I say, we have enough to keep us in this league and we now have to turn that into results and points very quickly.”
“We need the fans to help us with that as well. We’ve seen with the supporters (at Bramall Lane on Wednesday) that they really got behind their team when we had them under pressure.
“That kind of thing gives everyone a lift and it’s what we will need as we get into these important games.
“We need everyone to be positive because we want to make Brunton Park a fortress again.
“That isn’t easy but if we can stay together then we will be a much stronger and better unit for it.”
Better too for the return of a host of players from injury.
Liam Noble left Bramall Lane with a cast protecting an ankle injury, and joins Paul Thirlwell, Sean O’Hanlon and Matty Robson on the treatment table.
But while on-loan defenders Reece Brown – brother of Sunderland’s Wes – and James Pearson have eased matters, goalkeeper Mark Gillespie is back in contention, and Kavanagh is optimistic about others becoming available for selection in time for such a crucial spell.
“Hopefully we’ll get good news on one or two,” he said.
“We do need as many bodies as possible to help us to do the job we need to do.”