Graham Kavanagh: Carlisle United FA Cup run will bring confidence

Carlisle manager Graham Kavanagh feels his side will be heartened by reaching the third round of the FA Cup, despite Sunday's 3-1 defeat by Sunderland.

Thanks to Matty Robson's equaliser, the Cumbrians were level at the break, but their Premier League opponents struck twice to secure a place in round four.

Carlisle United fans arrive at the Stadium of Light before the FA Cup Third Round match with Sunderland

Carlisle's average home gate this term is 4,250. After drawing Sunderland in the FA Cup, Graham Kavanagh said he hoped it would boost support - they took 5,631 fans to the Stadium of Light.

"Our lads are really disappointed to push Sunderland close but still go out," Kavanagh told BBC Radio Cumbria.

"But they'll take a lot of confidence from our FA Cup run, I'm sure of that."

The League One side had earned their clash at the Stadium of Light by toppling League One's now-leaders Brentford.

That win was only their third in 11 matches, but they followed it up with a 4-1 win over Tranmere - their first three-goal winning margin in almost a year.

Carlisle currently sit 16th in the table, just three points above the relegation zone.

"Giving that sort of performance, against a Premier League team, can only encourage the lads," said Kavanagh.

"If we can add just a little bit of quality to the team this month, as we've done all season, I think we'll do really well this season."