IT FELT like a depressing repeat from a show that we had all suffered through a couple of years ago.

The jeers that rang out from the away corner of Brunton Park brought memories flooding back.

For Gary Bowyer on Boxing Day 2019, read Derek Adams on January 8, 2022.

Carlisle was the scene where patience with Bowyer’s style of play snapped with City supporters.

A goalless Christmas bore draw prompted an angry reaction from the travelling fans.

Two years on and the derision boomed from those same seats – and, no doubt, many of the same voices – after a pitiful weekend defeat.

“You’re not fit to wear the shirt” was the stinging chorus at the final whistle – always the most damning putdown of any team.

Adams, too, came in for some public vitriol for the first time in his seven-month reign as frustration raged over a numbing result.

Bowyer never got the supporters back onside as results suddenly dropped away. A team in the play-offs at the time, he would be out the door five weeks later.

City’s loss on Saturday was their first since November but the multitude of draws has kept them pegged in 14th spot at the halfway stage of their League Two campaign.

That was not how it was laid out in the brochure before a ball had been kicked.

The fans still wait for the momentum-building push that has been frequently talked about. Patience, if the response in Cumbria is a true indicator, is starting to wear thin.

Charles Vernam admitted it was uncomfortable to be on the end of that barrage of abuse.

But he can understand the anger – and insists that the players must be strong enough to take it and find the right response.

“That’s down to us, nobody else,” he said. “We understand the frustrations of the fans, of course we do.

“They deserve to see a better showing. It wasn’t good enough to surrender like that.

“It wasn’t good enough as a group and for me personally. You go through the whole team and I don’t think there will be too many players who could say they performed.

“We were out-fought and Carlisle seemed to have more desire than us. That can’t happen at a club like this.”

The lingering after-effects with the barbs on social media from the former players milking their moment just added to the toxic feel.

It wasn’t just the Carlisle contingent of ex-Bantams sticking the boot in at those who had booed and barracked them.

Others like Dominic Poleon and Ben Richards-Everton, two more who went through a sticky time at Valley Parade, made their public backing clear for scorers Jordan Gibson and Omari Patrick.

That has only increased the angst among a fed-up fanbase.

Bowyer’s return to BD8 this coming Saturday for the first time since the crowd was allowed back is sure to crank up the pressure another notch.

City’s home clash with Salford is an opportunity for redemption that Vernam knows must be taken.

He added: “We have to put our finger on (why the Carlisle result happened) and make sure there isn’t a ripple effect and it continues.

“We’ve got to work hard throughout the week and make sure we go out with a positive mentality against Salford. We have to turn up.

“It’s difficult to do after a poor showing like that but we’ve got to get together and bounce back because we’ve done that throughout the season.

“All we can do is focus on next weekend. If we dwell on the frustration and negativity, that will filter through to the next game.”

Vernam returned from a five-match injury absence when he came off the bench in the first half for dead-leg victim Andy Cook. Ironically the winger’s last outing had been in City’s previous loss at Tranmere.

He came through unscathed – but held his hand up that his display had been just as poor as those around him.

“I feel good in myself but ultimately the performance wasn’t good enough and I put myself in that category.

“Just because I’ve been out for however long, I need to perform up to the standard that’s expected and I didn’t do that.

“We have to go out there and out-battle and out-perform teams. We’ve found a way to do that through the season but that wasn’t there on Saturday.

“We put in a really good performance in difficult circumstances at Barrow the week before and won the game.

“We all wanted to kick on and ultimately we didn’t do that. We had a great backing like we always do at away games and it’s down to us to make them proud of the players.”