"Realistically, we have got to get to the playoffs. We have two clear goals - on one side we have to get to the playoffs, or automatic promotion, if we really do want to get to the next level," Nixon told the club's official website.
"If we don't have that ambition or vision, or if we don't want to get there, then we shouldn't be running the club. We have got to get there.
"That's Graham's job and I'll support him, and the club will support him, to get him all the players he wants to do that."
Carlisle have not been in the second tier of English football since 1986.