The team sheet on Tuesday night showed a particularly young group of players on the bench as second year scholar turned pro Lewis Bell was joined by first year striker Sam Fishburn, along with fellow youth graduates Josh Dixon and Taylor Charters, as well as young loanees from Middlesbrough and Huddersfield respectively.
“The young players have been doing really well and, to be fair, if we weren’t where we are in the league you’d probably have seen one or two more of them by now,” Chris Beech explained. “They’ve got to step up because as we get stronger in performance the young players have to get better to get into the team.
“The lads who have been playing regularly have been playing really well, we’re 20 games in, and we’ve scored the goals we’ve scored. We conceded too many on Saturday, but we’ve conceded an average of one goal a game I think it is we’re on, so … I hate conceding but I suppose I would admit that’s acceptable if you look at those statistics.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult because at Carlisle everybody has a great interest in the football club and everything that doesn’t happen on the pitch. I like to try to stick to what happens within the games.
“Obviously we’ve had some discrepancies in terms of getting ready, but there’s nothing I can do about that. It’s what a squad is for, it’s what a club is for and what a workforce is for.
“Since I first started coaching my mantra has been that I work in a no excuse environment and, if we’d played on, I’d have had no excuse.
"There were no complaints from our players about the conditions while the ref was thinking about what to do, but their players were a bit mixed because they’d just scored. A couple of their big lads came up to me and said it was a shambles, but there you go, that’s them saying that not me.
“I know these are strange times for all of us, but I don’t think it’s right to be pointing fingers. It’s a time to be saying that the referee made the right decision for the players and their safety. I didn’t have one complaint when that game started, I’m not like that, I’m not brought up like that.”
On missing players Jon Mellish and Gav Reilly, he told us: “They’ll be in tomorrow working with the physio department, so we’ll get good assessments of them.
“It’s a shame, Jon tried yesterday and today, and I was looking at that and thinking we could force an issue, but that could mean we then lose another player for four to six weeks. I think it’s the wrong time of the season to be pushing that.”
“Gime Toure is back with his family in France for personal reasons,” he continued. “Gime is totally committed to Carlisle, he’s got himself a little flat here, but he’s just had to go home to deal with some personal issues that are family related.
“Family in my life is everything and when a player comes to you and speaks to you like that you have to respect it. We decided to look at how that could happen, and it’s fallen this way. He’s hopefully due back soon, if he can get things sorted, and he’ll obviously have to follow procedure.”
And as the January window approaches, rumours have been floated that Josh Kayode could possibly be recalled to parent club Rotherham.
“I think Rotherham have had a coronavirus outbreak so they’re probably players down because of that,” he told us. “JJ absolutely loves being here, he loves the culture and environment we’ve created. If he didn’t he’d be out of here faster than a speeding bullet.
“He wants to try to do something with Carlisle for the full season. He’s currently disappointed with his goals tally and I’m teaching him how to be a winning footballer as well as one who gets on the goal sheet.
“There are still big lessons to be learned for him and if we think back to Cambridge he struggled that day against two big centre halves. He had the same against Oldham, but he’s learning his trade and if I was him I’d want to continue to do that at a place like this.
“I think he wants to do that, but we don’t own JJ.”
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