Former Manor Ground favourite Paul Simpson faces the hardest job of his footballing career in trying to save Carlisle from relegation to the Nationwide Conference.

Paul SimpsonThe Cumbrians are 12 points adrift at the bottom of Division 3 with just one win all season.

On paper, their task of getting something against top-of-the-table Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium tomorrow seems hopeless.

While they have picked up just one point out of a possible 30 on their travels, Oxford have rattled off eight wins and two draws from their ten league games at home this season.

Carlisle have suffered 11 straight league defeats, gone 13 matches without a win and ten since an away victory.

By contrast, Oxford are on a run of 11 games without defeat, and also 11 home games without defeat.

But player-manager Simpson, who looks set to return to the Cumbrians' starting line-up after being on the bench for the midweek LDV Vans defeat by Sheffield Wednesday, following a virus, said: "Oxford is a game everybody thinks we've already lost.

"But that isn't the feeling in the camp. We've got players here who will fight very hard and we are not throwing in the towel."