Carlisle United boss Paul Simpson’s verdict on Bolton Wanderers friendly

Carlisle boss Paul Simpson is looking forward to a “step up” in opposition ahead of this weekend’s clash with Wanderers.

The Whites head to Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon (KO 3pm) as they continue their preparations for the upcoming League One campaign.

Simpson is pleased with what he has seen from his side so far in pre-season but expects to be tested in a different way against Ian Evatt’s men.

“We are getting to a point at the moment where I like our structure, as we had in the first half of the Kendal game,” he told the club’s website.

“We passed it well, we had good shape, and when we keep the ball we have got a discipline about our shape. The wing backs have complemented that and we have looked a strong side.

“The Workington game was a step up, and with the training game on Tuesday then Bolton on Saturday… it will build up again.

“The opposition in those games are a step up in ability levels, and that will test us in a different way. That is when the shape and discipline of the team will come to the front.”

Carlisle finished 20th in League Two last season after Simpson returned to the club for a second spell in charge.

“It was nice to be back in training again but being out there and playing is much better,” midfielder Jon Mellish added.

“We enjoyed the first game against Penrith and each game gets harder. Bolton will be the same again but it’s all good preparation.

“I think they have gone pretty well. We have conceded the one goal, and the games have been getting harder.

“We have only been in a couple of weeks and we are already looking at starting it off against Crawley at the end of the month.

“It’ll be nice to have the home game on Saturday against Bolton and that will be when it will feel like we are getting going properly.”

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