Striker Lee Miller's successful return from injury and a much-improved performance has encouraged Carlisle manager Greg Abbott, despite a 2-1 defeat at Shrewsbury on Saturday.
"The performance, the energy and the determination will lead us to better things," Abbott told BBC Cumbria.
"Lee Miller was outstanding and it's an absolute credit to him that he played 88 minutes.
"It was a really decent performance, we might have won the game comfortably."
The result leaves the Cumbrians 19th in League One, two points above the relegation zone, having won only one of their last eight games in the division.
But last season's leading goal-scorer Miller, who has been out of action since picking up an ankle injury in the first game of the season, was a threat throughout.
"He'll take two or three days to recover, but he's back now and he's going to be a focal point of what we do," added Abbott. "We looked miles better with him up top.
"I can't believe we didn't take something from the game, but I don't think more energy could have been exuded and it's a massive positive for us that Lee is back playing."
Abbott also raised the possibility of forward Joe Garner - whose loan period from Watford has now ended - returning to the club in January.
"Joe has enjoyed himself, got his football and his goals, so it's one we'll talk about with him and with Watford once we get into January," said Abbott.
"The good thing for us at the moment is that we have other players who can come in and do a job, so things are looking much better for us.
"The players are desperately disappointed. There are times this season when we haven't performed, but we did in this match."