Like a sure-footed tightrope walker, Matty Dolan refuses to look down.

City are currently straddling the divide in League One. Apparently comfortably placed in a mid-table position, they are still only six points away from the bottom four.

Tonight’s hosts Carlisle are five behind and one place off the drop zone. Defeat in Cumbria would considerably weaken the safety net.

But City’s newest recruit is not casting a nervous eye downwards – and he believes that is the view shared within a squad that have not won since November.

Dolan said: “I don’t think we’re looking that way. The mood is very good around the camp.

“I’ve been talking to Dava (Andrew Davies) and he says there are 17 games left, so let’s have a right crack at it and see how far we can go.

“This is such a big club. Hearing the fans on Saturday, you realise that this is a club that can go as far as they want.

“The confidence is definitely there. Everything behind the scenes is set up right, like the fitness and recovery work.

“We’ve got a few new players coming in and once we get used to playing together and learn more about each other, the team will only get stronger. Kyle Bennett is a really talented player and I know Reachy (Adam Reach) well and know what he can do.

“I don’t see why we can’t have a good finish to the season. Once we start getting a few good results, we can start rolling up that table again.”

Dolan should have crowned his debut against Crewe with a goal, hitting the side-netting with one of the numerous gilt-edged chances that went begging in the second-half rampage.

But he saw plenty from that performance after the break to take into Brunton Park.

The midfielder said: “The gaffer pulled us up at half-time and to be fair we needed a kick up the backside. But we came back out and gave it a real go.

“How we never won the game I’ll never know. But in the context, you’d have taken a draw from 2-0 down.

“We might feel disappointed not to win but we can take that performances into tonight and get the three points against Carlisle.”

Nathan Doyle is clear from suspension but it would be a surprise to see Phil Parkinson break up the Dolan and Gary Jones partnership in City’s engine room.

The two-goal skipper masterminded Saturday’s fightback and Dolan was wide-eyed at the non-stop effort put in by his veteran team-mate.

“They were two great strikes for the goals but his whole game in general was superb,” he said.

“It’s amazing to think that he’s 36 – his energy is brilliant and he’s a pleasure to play with.

“It’s great to have someone with that experience alongside you and I can only learn from him.

“Coming in as a young lad, you certainly look up to the experienced players. I obviously know Dava and Matthew Bates from Middlesbrough as well – I used to clean Batesy’s boots!”