Keith Millen will be hopeful Carlisle United fans rise to the challenge today amidst great traveling support from Bradford City.
More than 1,000 away supporters are heading to Brunton Park (3pm kick-off) for this afternoon’s revamped shock.
Millen says this should create a good atmosphere with United supporters likely to turn up the volume as well.
The Blues boss said: “You tend to find that when you get good support away from home it normally lifts the fans at home a bit – that competition between two groups of supporters.
“I don’t really mind whether it’s home or away, I just like an atmosphere and the more people in the stadium the better.
“I would like our fans to really support us because in the last three away games the people who have traveled have been brilliant. they created an atmosphere and a real support for the team, and the players appreciate it.
“I really hope that our fans, at the start of the new year, the first home game [of 2022], come here and really support the team.
“We haven’t had a home game in a while so hopefully our fans will be big and all looking forward to seeing us play.
“We have three of the next four games at home and our supporters who support us are really helping the players. If we can do well, we can be in a good position.
Millen could get this week’s three new hires involved with Joel Senior, Tyrese Omotoye and the return of Omari Patrick hoping to get involved.
Bradford could involve his own new signing, Luton lender Dion Pereira.
Some nine players – six from Carlisle, three from Bradford – could face their former club this afternoon, meanwhile.
Patrick is one of them, having returned this week from an 18-month contract with Burton Albion, while Senior and Omotoye will be aiming for their home debut.
Commenting on the new signings, Millen said, “The fans love to see players who work hard and show enthusiasm and the guys we have signed are very enthusiastic.
“The competition for places is already shaping up to be better and that’s what I like the most.
United start the weekend three points above the relegation zone in fourth, facing the 12th-placed Bantams.
At a time when he’s looking to brush up on the Blues’ offense, Millen praised teenage forward Sam Fishburn for his fighting efforts in recent weeks.
The 18-year-old teamed up with Jon Mellish on offense, and Millen said: “He’s very young and he’s developing and learning the hard way.
“He played the last few games and I didn’t have a lot of options to change him. He fought so well last Saturday at Scunthorpe for 90 minutes. For a young person of his age, it is to his credit.
“He will learn from this experience. I would like him to score his first goal, he had a few chances, but it will come, no doubt.
“I like the fact that he learns the little things we tell him about.
“He definitely has a bright future and I would like to take care of him a bit more, but right now he’s the focal point, him and Jon.
“Jon Mellish, last Saturday, had to cover every blade of grass; he was incredible in his pace of work. Both have worked well for the team in the last two games and have helped us achieve two results.
“It’s nice to have these two up there, but I realize we need to take care of Sam as well.”