The kick off to the new season is now just a matter of days away and the fixture list confirmed that it’s going to be a busy opening spell, with Saturday-Tuesday fixtures almost the norm, particularly as we head through September and October.
“It’s going to be a test, but that’s the same for everybody,” manager Chris Beech said. “I’d like to think the 20-22-man squad will get opportunity.
“A lot of that is often planned, but often not, because things happen. I want that environment anyway. I don’t want people just thinking they’re comfortable and it’s their shirt.
“The players are buying into that. The reason they’ve come here is because it’s opportunity, it’s growth. It’s the big opportunity to represent themselves by playing for Carlisle United.
“They understand the type and style of football I want to play. I want to be fast and aggressive in terms of attacking, and I want to get the ball back faster.
“I want the players to be able to do it for 96 minutes, not for 15 in 90. I want them to be able to respond to grievances and setbacks because I want them to represent us well.
“We’re a northern club, and it’s tough up north, the weather, the conditions, but this is a very good club and we have to make sure we represent our families and our supporters traits to get ourselves into winning positions.”
And with the forwards hitting the back of the net in the friendly fixtures, he said: “Lewi is a great professional, very steady and consistent. He’ll keep demanding more from himself.
“JJ [Kayode] got his goal to get off the mark, but I don’t think he needs a confidence boost. He’s found a home in Carlisle, hasn’t he, and that’s good.
“He was with Gateshead for the first half of last season before he came here, and by doing what he did for Gateshead it got him on a footballing map that made me know about him.
“He came here and made a great impression, and it’s an impression that now needs to grow, working towards playing well for us again next season.”
“Gime [Touré] scored a good counter-attacking goal at Wigan, and it’s funny, when I first got here we were five points off relegation and we needed goals, but we also needed to stop goals going in.
“Gime was sort of in our thoughts in January. He had an opportunity with Hartlepool to try to get back into the league at that point, and we did make some enquiries, but we couldn’t get to the right point of negotiation because they wanted a fee for him at that time, and it was quite a big one.
“He’s a free transfer now and I think for him, personally, he’s got to step up into professional football. Again, we can offer him growth and opportunity, and he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“He might see the contract structure as an extra incentive, but he might want to score 35 goals and go and play for Middlesbrough, who knows. If he scores 35 goals I’ll be very happy with that!”