News & Star column 11.03.21

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Just a few weeks ago fans were desperate to see the Blues playing again after an extended interlude due to a Covid outbreak and weather problems.

Now, they probably wish the break had gone on for another month at least.

United just cannot buy a win at the moment.

 It needed an injury-time equaliser to rescue them against bottom of the table Grimsby in midweek leaving the Blues without a victory in eight games.

We have slumped from top of the table to 13th proving just what a fickle game football can be.

With roughly half the squad affected by Covid it is too much of a coincidence to believe it hasn’t affected United’s form and confidence.

That’s why head coach Chris Beech should be given some leeway as he strives to get us back to where we were. As he said after the game if we can come through this spell we will emerge stronger for it.

At least, the Blues showed character to keep battling against Grimsby when everything seemed to be going against us.

And one big positive was that striker Ozzy Zanzala grabbed his first goal for the club.

It will do his confidence the world of good and let’s hope it provides the Blues with a springboard to a change in fortune.

We won’t have long to wait to find out with a home match against Bradford City, who are just above us in the table, on Saturday(3pm).

To watch the game on iFollow visit the club website: https://www.carlisleunited.co.uk/ifollow/subscribe

It costs £10 for a match pass with eight pounds going directly to the club. Club chief executive Nigel Clibbens revealed recently United made £195,000 from the first 26 games – and it will be money that will be needed when we count up the full cost of the pandemic.

The EFL this week launched a major survey into the streaming service giving you a chance to enter a draw to win a 2021/22 home shirt.

If you would like to take part visit: https://goodformgroup.researchfeedback.net/s/f3a54g

It could help decide what happens to iFollow in the future.

The EFL have also released an important date for your diary – next season will start on August 7.

Meanwhile, CUOSC’s Carlisle Re-United fund stands at £13,277. So far, we have contributed £3,000 to the club to help buy a ‘Nordbord’ – a piece of fitness equipment that monitors and helps aid the recovery of players suffering from hamstring injuries.

Membership of CUOSC costs £10 for adults and £5 for seniors and under-16s. Benefits include discount at the club shop.