David Dunn has urged his Barrow AFC players to keep their standards up in order to record a memorable derby victory at Carlisle United today.

The clubs’ first league meeting since 1964 sees Dunn’s side head to Brunton Park in search of their first win of the EFL campaign.

A first encounter between Barrow and Carlisle for 56 years would be a timely occasion for the Bluebirds to end their wait for a League Two victory in 2020/21.

Dunn feels that, while it is a shame supporters will not be able to attend the game because of Covid-19, the occasion will still carry an edge – and one his side must enjoy.

“The players know it’s a derby and it’s up to both sets of players to create that derby feel, I suppose,” he said.

“I’m sure we will have that. Derbies are always really good games and people will be watching from afar.

“I just want us to go out there and play as we did last week and if we do, I’m confident we can get a good result.

“It’s a shame the supporters can’t be there to cheer us on. I would imagine we’d take a lot of fans up to Carlisle normally.

“But it is what it is and we have to make our own atmosphere at the minute, keep driving each other on and hopefully that gives us the platform to get some really good results.

“I was really pleased with the performance against Colchester last week, which gave us loads of confidence, against a really good team that was in the playoffs last year. I felt we probably edged it and it sets us up nicely for this weekend.”

Dunn could involve new signing Yoan Zouma in this afternoon’s squad but hinted that the new boy may have to wait until next week’s EFL Trophy game against Leeds Under-21s before his first Bluebirds start.

The Barrow boss confirmed he still expects to add more new faces before the domestic transfer deadline on October 16.

“I think we’ll probably do another couple in the next week, one being a forward,” he said. “And that will be us done, I think.”

Dunn said his injury list at the Progression Solicitors Stadium was easing and said it was “possible” he might have some players back today.

Matty Platt, Patrick Brough and Bobby Burns are among those yet to feature in the league campaign. “We’ve got a couple back so that’s good,” Dunn said. “I think by the end of next week, we could probably have everyone fit so that’s really good news.”

This afternoon’s game will see midfielder Mike Jones return to face his former club, while Connor Brown is another former Carlisle player.

Dunn does not expect the experienced Jones – who scored Barrow’s stunning equaliser in the 1-1 Colchester draw – to be fazed by returning to the ground where he spent four recent seasons.

“He’s a terrific pro and Jonesy’s just got to be himself,” Dunn said. “He’s a good footballer, works really hard for the team, I’ve always liked how he plays, and he just has to go there and do exactly what he’s doing.”

Of this afternoon’s game against Chris Beech’s side, the AFC boss added: “Carlisle will be strong, physical, quite direct, tough to break down – it’ll be a good challenge up there.

“It’s a big pitch, and I feel that we’re quite athletic and cover ground pretty well, so that’s something that maybe could benefit us.

“I always think performances are the main thing at this time. I felt the worst we’ve played was probably Stevenage on the opening day of the season – that’s probably been our worst performance, and we should have won.

“In terms of how we want to play, energy, playing out, being aggressive, creating chances, that looked like a nervous game for both teams, but since then I’ve been encouraged by what I’ve seen. Last week I thought we were very good.”

Barrow are seeking their first win against Carlisle since a 5-1 home victory in April 1960. They also won 1-0 at Brunton Park in November 1959 that campaign.