Assistant manager Lee Dykes spoke to us about the good performance put on by the Reserve team in the first of their group matches in the Central League Cup.
“The most important thing from the game was pitch time for the first team professionals,” he said. “They needed some valuable minutes for different reasons and, to be fair, it was a good test. Whatever Morecambe team you play you know they’ll have committed players and a positive mentality.
“We saw a good tempo and approach and the lads drive that by themselves. There isn’t too much we have to do to get them motivated for these games, which is pleasing. I’ve been at clubs previously where that hasn’t been the case, so that’s a testament to the environment we have here.
“The thing these players know is that everybody is here watching them, so if they do it properly they have a chance of pulling a first team shirt on for the next game day.”
“This is one we approached as a competitive fixture so we’re obviously pleased to have won it,” he added. “The first team players had good games and a few of the youth team lads stepped up and performed on the day as well. It makes it a good fixture all-round with people catching the eye and some reminding the manager that they can do a job if they’re needed.
“I think it helped that the game was played in such a good environment and thank you to Penrith for hosting it. It’s a valuable relationship that we’re creating here and the facilities are excellent.
“The relationship has mutual benefits with it being not too far away from Carlisle. Our groundsman looks after the pitch with them so everybody is getting something from it. It’s always nice to play these games in a proper ground so another thank you goes to the staff at Penrith for helping us to do just that.”
On the part played by defender Clint Hill, who scored the opening goal of the game, he said: “He was in training with us this morning [Tuesday] and he’s still fit as a fiddle. He knows we like him and he knows a little bit more about what we’re about as well. It’s now for him and the manager to take it forward from here.
“As training days go by it’s pointless not having him in with us. He’s been and felt the grass elsewhere, there’s no hiding that, but there’s a clear connection there between Clint and the manager.
“He loves football and I think he’s at a point where he’s having a little think about what he wants. The manager is doing the same and I’m sure if there’s something to do there we’ll do it.
“As I say, he’s fit, he played in a very competitive league last year, and I know he’s looking towards the future because he’s a forward-thinking individual. However, I think Carlisle United is a very exciting prospect for any player.
“We had a couple of other trialists in with us as well. One came in for the game and the other one has been training with us for a while now. We’re always looking and trying to see what’s out there.
“The work on that side of things never stops. You never get everything you want so you have to be both proactive and reactive as different situations develop. There are some good players in that free agent market but we won’t take any player into the club unless there’s good cause and reasons behind it. If the right one comes along I’m sure the club will look at it in a positive way.”
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