Tales of what might have been are of no longer of any interest to Carlisle manager Graham Kavanagh as he watched his side suffer their third defeat in four outings – a result which has dragged them back into the clutches of the lower reaches of League One.
The honeymoon period, if such a thing exists in this age of demands for instant success from the terraces, is well and truly over for United’s new manager.
A worrying dip in form, coupled with a third sending-off of the calendar year for striker Lee Miller, has left Kavanagh with more to think about than he otherwise would have hoped at this early stage of his managerial career.
He said: “I don’t want to have to keep coming out after games and saying the same things.
“Things went against us, that’s a fact, but we weren’t good enough and we didn’t get anywhere near the standards we have set ourselves.
“We won four games out of five when I took over so the group has shown me it’s good enough to do this job.
“What we can’t allow is for them to take their foot off the gas because this is a very tough division.
“What’s done is done and we have to get ourselves right and make sure we are ready to go again for Wolves on Tuesday.”
The first half belonged almost exclusively to the visitors but an inability to find the back of the net, and dubious refereeing, combined to leave alarm bells ringing in the United dressing room as the score remained at deadlock.
Kavanagh aded: “I spoke to the referee at half-time about the penalty decision he didn’t give us.
“Matt Robson was six yards out and his shot was blocked by the defender’s hand.
“I was told it wasn’t a deliberate handball and it wasn’t a goalscoring opportunity, so that’s very hard to take.
Salt was rubbed into the wounds after the break when hotshot Danny Kedwell bulleted an unstoppable spot kick past Gillespie following a trip on Danny Hollands by centre-back Danny Livesey and the game was thrown further into the mix when Lee Miller and Leon Legge received their marching orders for unrelated incidents.
Kavanagh said: “I didn’t see the Miller incident but it is really disappointing because we will miss him for three or four games.”