Both United and Cardiff now know that they will face either Blackpool or Reading in the fourth round of this season’s Emirates FA Cup competition, with both ties heading to replays next week.
Speaking about the draw at his Thursday press conference, head coach Chris Beech said: “To be honest, and like I said after the game on Saturday, our next game is Cardiff so I’m not tending to think too far past that actual match.
“Obviously I was born in Blackpool, and with it being an away tie that would be easier for our supporters, but we have no choice at the moment because we have Cardiff in our way.
“I was proud of everybody down there – all the players were excellent, the non-playing players as well, the supporters, the hierarchy of the football club, and our staff. I was really proud of everybody, and the performance of each individual, collectively coming together as a team, it was Carlisle United – a united effort.
“The fans enjoyed themselves and we enjoyed playing for them. As a club we were together, and that’s what I want. In terms of it acting as a catalyst going forward, we just want to win football matches, whatever competition it is.
“You’ve got to go about your business in the right way and you need to show winning traits to achieve that. The players are representing more of that individually and that means collectively they’re becoming harder to beat.
“I was so pleased with the reaction to when Cardiff came strong on us in the second half because we gathered ourselves and we finished the game strongly. Even though we didn’t go on to win it, we had three outstanding chances to do just that, and that was good to see.”
On the feeling in the dressing room following a run of just two defeats in nine games since the new boss took the reins, he commented: “I’ve been really pleased but, of course, we want to win more football matches.
“If I‘m being brutally honest I was disappointed we didn’t win, even though it’s Cardiff City. Taking the form forward is bread and butter, but you’ve got to just approach each game individually, look at your opponent, the strengths of your own team and try and utilise them.
“Working on how we want to play is an ongoing process. A lot of the team selections and choices, some have been through my choice, some have been through a lot of illness and injury in the last four weeks. You’ve got to adapt, have the plan, but have an adaptable one that hopefully can provide that winning feeling for everybody.”
With the January transfer window now well and truly open, he said: “There’s a lot of work happening. It’s almost like being in the circus spinning plates. Until you get to a point of any sort of resolution or fact, I can’t share anything with you, because nothing’s actually dropped.
“I can’t control those conversations, finance, agents, other clubs, the player themselves in terms of what they’re looking for in length of contract, and things like that. It’s not just as simple as saying, I like you, you’re good for us, let’s crack on. There’s a lot of different anomalies involved.
“We’ve got very close to quite a few, but the plates spin and until one drops and fits, that’s what they are at the moment, spinning plates. I am confident that something will happen but at the same time I can’t factually state that I’m definitely signing somebody today.
“We’re in a position where we are where we are. We’ve got to utilise the squad, not detract from anybody or any individual player that can help provide and support Carlisle United. I’ve got to take into account the current squad, and while we do look to improve, it’s not always necessarily going to go that way. You’ve got to be open-minded to different options.”
And on how he would like his squad to look, he added: “It would be great to have two players for each position and fighting it out to make sure they’re wearing the matchday shirt. As a manager you’re then in a position of strength. We’re not in that current position.
“That will take time, probably three or four transfer windows to get to that point. As we sit here today, we’re working very hard, and very diligently on every sort of avenue we can try and help support this club moving forwards.
“That’s why we constantly look at everybody’s situation. Football is living in the fast lane of a motorway, things change so quickly, whether that’s personnel, incomings or outgoings. It can often change so quick on the basis of one dominant phone call.
“I can’t reiterate enough it is almost juggling or spinning plates, because until it gets factual, it’s difficult to share information with you. Whoever is in the squad, I want them to have a really good, strong attitude to want to play, do their best and represent themselves which in turn represents our supporters.”