Neil Harris happy Cambridge frontline answered his call for goals at Carlisle

By Sports Desk February 17, 2024

Cambridge boss Neil Harris was delighted his frontline answered his call for more goals after a 4-0 win at basement boys Carlisle.

The U’s secured their biggest league win of the season as Sullay Kaikai, Sam Levelle’s own goal, Elias Kachunga’s header and Ryan Bennett’s late fourth did the damage at Brunton Park.

Victory saw Harris’ side go eight points clear of the drop zone and cut their goal difference down to minus eight.

“A clean sheet is vitally important and we’re pleased with the four goals,” reflected Harris.

“If we’re honest it could have been six or seven. The boys are disappointed they’ve not scored more goals.

“When I talk about defending as a team and attacking as a team, it’s important for the defenders to score goals as well.

“Stats are important, goals are important with goal difference and things like that.

“After the back of a week of two disappointing results, we’re really pleased. You end up chasing a little bit and look towards the fixtures coming up.

“It’s a strong performance that gives us a lot of belief and confidence.

“I thought Carlisle had to win the game to have any hope about trying to catch us or anybody else.

“The first seven minutes we were a very poor version of ourselves. We settled and the goal helps.”

For relegation-threatened Carlisle it was a sorry seventh straight loss as hopes of survival continued to slip away.

Deflated Paul Simpson said: “It’s probably as disappointed as I have been all season if I’m honest.

“I just felt it was a bit of a capitulation from us after the second goal.

“I thought we started the first half bright. We got in the final third and I sound like a broken record but when we get in the final third it fizzled out.

“We didn’t get tight enough for the first goal. I’ve spoken all season about sending wide players down the line and going into a race with them. We let the wide player do whatever he wants. You have to defend that better.

“The second goal is a horrible one to give away. It’s a mistake and we have to accept that. It’s slippy conditions and the ball slips through the keeper’s hands.

“The third, the recovery runs aren’t quick enough when we give the ball away up the pitch. We aren’t sprinting to get back.

“The fourth is a centre-back having more desire to get on a cross coming in. There’s a million and one things we could talk about.”

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