As Pride of Nottingham builds up to this weekends game, Notts-Joe has taken the time to put several questions to one opposition Douglas. Whilst towards the bottom, you will find a link to a mini fan view from within our camp.
Could you tell Pride of Nottingham a little bit about yourself, such as how long you have supported Carlisle?
I'm 26 years old, and my first Carlisle game was 8th may 1999, the final game of the season at home to Plymouth argyle. This game is most remembered as the game where Jimmy Glass (the goalkeeper on loan from Swindon town) scored in the last minute to save us from dropping into non league. I was brought up in a Manchester United mad family (family are from the Manchester area originally) and always looked out for Carlisle results for as long as I could remember. I started supporting both until finances really took a hold with the premiership, so I then decided rather than doing both Manchester United and Carlisle matches, I would concentrate all my support on my local club. Now in this day I feel that I have no connections to Manchester United because of this and Carlisle United is the only club for me.
How do you feel the season is going so far? Is there anything you would hope to improve on as a side?
The season started off okay, it took us until the end of August v Hartlepool away to register our first victory in the league. We'd had a good victory in the Capital One Cup round 1 previous to that game at home v Chesterfield. After the victory at Hartlepool we have went from strength to strength, improving the squad with a number of effective loan signings that have pushed the permanent squad members as far as replacing in the starting XI. We are currently doing very well indeed, up to 6th place as things stand after a very good point away at the league leaders Oxford United (a game I thought we should have won as well being there) and not many teams in this league will leave the Kassam Stadium with anything I feel. We've had the glory of a fantastic game at Liverpool in round 3 of the league cup, taking them to penalties but now promotion is our main aim. I would like a good run in the FA Cup though, currently through to round 3 where we face Yeovil at "home" (Blackpool fc are hosting us that day).
I would like an extra 3 players in on loans in January and release the players that aren't in the squad regularly. I feel like we could use a right winger and a couple of midfielders of the Liam Noble mould.
Have you been effected by the floods? How has this impacted Carlisle and the Football Club?
I live very local to Brunton Park which was badly affected, however the floodwaters stopped 300m away from my front door so I've not faced the devastation of having water raging through my home like many others, however I was left without electricity and gas for 4 days which was hard for me as family have now moved down south. Carlisle as a city have been amazing, along with the rest of the county have shown the strongest community spirit I've witnessed, along with the rest of the country through donating what is now £3.1 million. The stadium has been ruined, I was 1 of the volunteers who went to help clean up for a couple of days while I was off work and waiting for electricity and gas to come back on in my home, and I've never seen devastation like it. Archives were destroyed, the concourse of the stands were caked in a brown sticky liquid. The first team players made a marvellous offer of helping out locals affected in clearing homes, ripping up carpets ect in the vicinity of brunton park. Even after the club 'digs' outside the stadium was hit by floods, and our first choice keeper Mark Gillespie was airlifted out of the digs as he was unwell to travel to our FA cup fixture at welling United that weekend. Fantastic community spirit from the players, some of whom are local lads and some of whom who are foreign all mucked in when the city needed them.
Who will be your key(s) players on Saturday and why?
Key attacking players I've got to start with jabo ibehre. Big, strong and loves the physical battles with centre backs and currently has 10 goals this season despite missing just over a month injured. Charlie Wyke, his strike partner. Not as physically strong as Ibehre, but after an indifferent start to the season he's found his form and is now scoring goals and doing an awful lot for the team. Alex gilliead, a young winger on loan from Newcastle that has speed in abundance, regularly takes on 2-3 defenders at a time and passes them all with ease.
In the back line, Michael Raynes. A tough, no nonsense typical English centre back, takes no grief and is a focal point in attack due to his strength and stature, if we are chasing a result tomorrow then don't be surprised to see him played as a centre forward and balls flying into him.
Luke Joyce. A no nonsense defensive midfielder. Great tackling and distribution of the ball is excellent.
I'm expecting goals in the game, we tend to play in a gung Ho 'we're gonna score 1 more than you mentality' which makes us exciting yet excruciatingly painful side to watch.
The game will be played at the Deepdale stadium, what are your thoughts on the kindness shown and what does it represent to modern day football?
I think it's fantastic from pne, allowing us use of Deepdale for this game when no club have to offer their stadiums. There has always been a bit of a rivalry between us and pne but this has quelled them thoughts for me personally.
For modern football it's fantastic to show that league clubs do help each other out, with us being as isolated where we are geographically we don't have any near neighbours that we can turn to, so along with Blackburn and Blackpool who are hosting our "home" fixtures (against Plymouth in the league and Yeovil FA cup respectively) it truly does reinforce the theory that there is a football family. Also it's less travelling for you to do as well, with cheaper tickets.
Lastly, what do you feel the score will be?
I'll go for either a 2-2 draw, or a 3-2 win for Carlisle with ibehre and gilliead scoring for Carlisle and Campbell (just because we had him on loan) and Sheehan scoring for Notts.
Pride of Nottingham would like to thank Douglas for taking the time to answer our questions, especially at such short notice and we hope Carlisle quickly find their feet again after the flooding.
You can read our Notts fan view by clicking - Here