SHEFFIELD UNITED: Blades represent test of character for Cumbrians

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ADAM Collin, the Carlisle goalkeeper, has admitted his team will be battling for more than points when Sheffield United visit Brunton Park.

Collin, who earlier this week heard manager Greg Abbott acknowledge that a disappointing run of results has left the Cumbrians under extreme pressure, conceded they must also win back the respect of supporters by performing against Danny Wilson’s side. Beaten by League One rivals AFC Bournemouth in the FA Cup last weekend, Carlisle enter today’s fixture searching for a first home success since November 3 and having conceded 11 goals in just four outings.

Collin said: “Sheffield United is a big game – one of the biggest of the season – and they are at the right end of the table doing well.

“Some teams have better resources and more options but at the end of the day it is 11 against 11. We have proved in the past that we are capable of surprising people.

“We did alright last season against the so-called bigger teams and took a few points off them and I don’t see why we can’t do the same now. They have big squads and a lot of good players but they come here and play a lot more open football thinking they can win the game easily and it benefits us as it leaves gaps to exploit.”

Eighteenth in the table, Carlisle’s problems have been compounded by injuries to experienced players such as Frank Simek and James Berrett.

Nevertheless, they are expected to include a clutch of exciting youngsters in the squad which entertains fourth placed United. Sunderland are among the top-flight clubs known to be monitoring Brad Potts, Dave Symington and Mark Beck.

“Beating Sheffield United would be a great way to start the festive period,” Collin said. “We are trying hard to put things right.”