Tonight, therefore, Brunton Park should see two teams go head-to-head that are lacking in confidence and wondering where their next three points are going to come from.
For Bradford City, however, the opposite is the case with the manner of Saturday’s fightback against Crewe Alexandra – the Bantams claimed a point despite being 2-0 and then 3-2 down – having given Phil Parkinson’s squad a major lift.
The City manager said: “We changed a few things around at half-time (against Crewe) and I felt we were great in the second half and showed how we can play.
“We have always had a sort of mantra here ever since I have been at the club that however we play and whatever the score, we have to make sure that the opposition back four is put under pressure. I think you can see that after the second-half performance.”
Parkinson is now demanding a repeat of Bradford’s second-half display against Graham Kavanagh’s Cumbrian outfit.
His side could certainly do with the win, with the last time they claimed three points being way back on November 23.
Milton Keynes Dons were City’s last scalp and the fact Parkinson’s men – who sit 13th in the table with 35 points from 29 games – are not in a more precarious position right now is thanks to the club’s impressive start to life back in League One.
One of their early-season victories came at home to Carlisle on the second Saturday in August when a United side then led by former Bradford midfielder Greg Abbott crashed to a 4-0 loss.
Abbott left mid-season and Carlisle’s miserable recent run of defeats has only been broken by a win over Peterborough on December 29 and another victory against MK Dons almost exactly a month later.
Last six games: Carlisle United LLLWLL, Bradford City LDDDLD.
Last time: Carlisle United 3 Bradford City 0; December 15, 2009; Football League Trophy.
Referee: G Eltringham (County Durham).