Former Blackpool, Derby and Oxford United figure to keep League One job even if relegated

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A League One manager that played for Blackpool and Wolves has received a vote of confidence from his board.

Former Blackpool winger Paul Simpson has received a vote of confidence from the Carlisle United board amid their struggles this season.

The Cumbrians are rock bottom of League One this season and are all but destined for a return for a short stay in the division. Last season's play-off winners are 16 points adrift of safety and are nearest placed Port Vale are 10 points ahead of them.

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Carlisle United were taken over by American business group Castle Sports Group in November, and despite their struggles they are likely to persist with the 57-year-old even if they are relegated to League Two.

“We believe Paul is the right guy for next season, we’ve already started the planning process for moving into the summer window,” said Tom Piatek II in a statement published on the club website.

Carlisle have won just once in ten matches and that came against Burton Albion at the end of February. They have claimed just two wins in 2024, having beaten Port Vale on New Year's Day, but then going on to lose eight consecutive matches.

The third tier's basement side made eight signings in the January transfer window but they haven't had the desired effect. Fees were paid for Luke Armstrong, Harrison Neal, Harry Lewis and Georgie Kelly but they have not been able to turn Carlisle's fortunes around.

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Paul Simpson though could play a supporting role in helping Blackpool reach the play-offs. During the international break, Carlisle are in action against Stevenage, who are currently a point above Neil Critchley's men. Simpson takes on his former club Blackpool on Saturday, April 13 at Brunton Park.

Simpson played for Blackpool from 2000 to 2002 after joining from Wolverhampton Wanderers. He was part of the club that won the Third Division play-offs and the EFL Trophy, before leaving for Rochdale, and then retiring at Carlisle United in 2006. He went on to manage Blackpool's Lancashire rivals Preston North End, as well as Shrewsbury Town, Stockport County, Northwich Victoria and England under-20s before landing his current role.