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Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Carlisle owners give Ward backing

John Nixon, Steve Pattison, David Allen, Andrew Jenkins
The Cumbrians' owners have blamed injuries for Carlisle's poor form

Carlisle United's owners have given manager John Ward their backing despite a run of eight defeats in nine games.

The club have released a statement admitting "the gravity of the situation" but re-affirmed their "confidence" in Ward's ability.

"All the staff and players remain fully committed to the task," the official statement said.

"(The club) thank the fans who are sticking by the team during this difficult period."

Ward has faced calls for his dismissal from sections of the Carlisle support after a run of form that has seen his side take just one point out of a possible 27.

It's people outside of this club who are on my back and encouraging other people to get on my back

Carlisle boss John Ward

Following Tuesday's 1-0 home defeat by Hartlepool the Cumbrians' boss refused to be drawn on his position but was critical of what he described as "outside influences."

"Nobody within this football club is on my back," Ward told BBC Radio Cumbria.

"It's people outside of this club who are on my back and encouraging other people.

"I can put the outside influences to bed, they have to be responsible for their actions, not me," he added.

The Carlisle owners - John Nixon, Steve Pattison, David Allen and Andrew Jenkins - cited injuries to key players as one of the reasons why the team have struggled for form in recent weeks.

Midfielders Chris Lumsdon, Paul Thirlwell and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson have all been sidelined while striker Michael Bridges and defender Peter Murphy have also been absentees.

Worcester Blue

Bridge-Wilkinson will return for Saturday's trip to Stockport County in League One while Lumsdon is two weeks away from his long-awaited comeback from a back injury.

The statement, issued on Thursday, also highlighted the support the club are prepared to give the manager in the coming weeks.

"Within the last month [John Ward] has brought in three loan players from Premier League clubs in a bid to get our season back on track."

"Carlisle United are a club that has been through too many crises over the last decade or two but we remain confident that the current personnel at Brunton Park can lead us out of the present situation."

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see also
Ward refusing to buckle
29 Oct 08 |  Football
Pressure builds on Carlisle boss
29 Oct 08 |  Carlisle
Carlisle 0-1 Hartlepool
28 Oct 08 |  League One
Ward looks for Carlisle response
27 Oct 08 |  Football
Carlisle snap up Hull midfielder
27 Oct 08 |  Carlisle

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