With United having made five January transfer window additions, and with a week still to go, boss Chris Beech spoke at his weekly press conference about the ongoing work as he continues to look for more additions to the squad.
“I’m still looking for more and the only time my phone doesn’t ring is when I’m doing your interviews,” he joked. “It’s been very busy and I’ll still continue to be busy because I want to give everybody the best opportunity to be competitive. I want that kind of environment here.
“It’s not just like, he plays, I want everybody to fight for the shirt and to represent the club in the best way they can. Let’s have some honour to it because it means so much to people that support the football club, who run the football club, who invest in it.
“I want all of that represented in the way we play, the way we attack, the way we defend. I think players are stepping up to get us there and it’s nice to have some new additions who can help us to deliver that.”
The arrivals of forward me Lewis Alessandra and Joshua Kayode, back up by the in-form Harry McKirdy and Nathan Thomas, give the manager a new-look strike force which has a number of permutations and options.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunities and options we’ve got now,” he confirmed. “The cup games we’ve played were excellent and we scored a lot of goals over the four games we had.
“We need to look at repeating the intensity levels and the motivations we saw there because it’s important to me that I do see that. It’s important to the Carlisle fans that we represent traits like that and that we look to win games by doing the right things.
“It can be forgiven, not winning, in terms of if you’ve tried to apply yourselves in the correct way, but that can only go on for so long. You’re in the sport of football and it’s a game that’s all about winning.
“You’ll sometimes hear from experienced managers and players that they aren’t too interested in how they’ve played, it’s more important to them that they won the game. You don’t need me to tell you that bar the three defeats we’ve had against teams at the top end of this league, we’ve been competitive in every single game and we’ve looked likely to win it, so we’ve just got to push on and flip that over the line.
“I actually watched your interview with Nick Anderton after the reserve game and listening to him speak like that, you know, it’s a fresh and important voice and energy. It’s vital that the players represent those traits and he’s looking forward to his opportunity to show what he can do.
“The other new arrivals are the same, and we’ve just talked about how Nathan and Harry have contributed since I came here, and that’s because other players have stepped up. Everybody has got to keep stepping up and we need to keep finding ways to represent the club to make sure we keep doing well and that we’re winning matches.”
Continuing the theme of stepping up, he reflected on what had been a professional performance from the senior group involved in Tuesday’s reserve game at Blackpool.
“That comes down to our training environment and our expectations,” he told us. “You can look at it two ways, if that performance isn’t what’s normal, then why has it been like that?
“My job is to make sure it isn’t like that, there are no guarantees I can do that, but there’s a definite will to put something out there that represents us correctly. What we saw on Tuesday should happen, because it was a very young Blackpool team, so that result should have happened, and it did.
“Having said that, it’s good to see that competitive edge in the young players and the players not playing. The only disappointment for me on Tuesday was seeing Mo [Sagaf] limp off with this ankle thing. These are things the lads need to get on top of because I want people progressing.”
Speaking once again about the work being done to make things even more competitive, he commented: “We’ve made several enquiries but you’ve got to wait on so many different factors.
“I was disappointed with one of them this week, we were so far, 48-hours of pure negotiation, with David, the club, me. We got to the point of wanting to crack on and it ends up he goes another way. That’s what happens.
“Until you can get the player in front of you and sell how you want to do and what you want to do with him, these things are often changing. Some clubs don’t allow you to speak to the player until things are agreed.”
“With questions about loans, we tend to find that everybody wants to talk about who isn’t playing,” he continued. I want to concentrate on what we are doing, possible outgoings is private business within the dressing room.
“It doesn’t take rocket scientists to work out what might be happening, but we’ve got to be respectful and professional to people who are playing and people who aren’t. It allows us, I suppose, when we’re looking to move and shift, some of the football clubs, they’re their players, and they’re not saying we want them back. Wow.
“What does that say about the player or the original choice, or the position everybody’s in? Everybody here has every divine right to represent all of us talking now in gaining our three points. Just go and do it. If you don’t want to, or don’t want to do it in a way that represents the team building, team ethos, then you’re not right for Carlisle, that’s your choice not mine. For every player at this club, take your chance when you get it, that’s the simple message.
“All I want is a competitive edge in every area. You’ve got people like Ryan Loft who trained very well yesterday; I just want competitiveness to that. I wouldn’t write anybody off. They’ve got to make sure they’re showing those consistent traits to say ‘it’s me, gaffer, who should be playing’.
“The lads have had opportunities, every single player has had one, and they’ve had them before I came in, but Carlisle find themselves in this position because they’ve not done enough, for whatever reason, however you want to look at it. So, we have to do more in a different way to get more.”
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