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INTERVIEW: We need to take this to the end of the line

Head coach Chris Beech is taking nothing for granted

4 March 2020

If you’ve seen the #GoodVibrations ticket initiative launch statement you’ll have read that United boss Chris Beech has no intention of allowing his staff or players to take their foot off the gas, even though the gap to bottom spot has opened up to 17 points.

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Speaking after the Cambridge game at the weekend, he said: “We’re still not safe in my eyes, I will not take anything for granted.

“We need to make sure we drive on and keep pushing. It’s important for the players individually for contracts, and it’s important for me in my first role to show a competitive edge and spirit. I have to make sure the players represent that.

“It’s also important that we all keep improving. One hundred percent I want more from everybody and, with that in mind, I want everything to be than it was.”

“What we’ve got to be mindful of, in my opinion, is that we still had 12 games to play ahead of the Cambridge game,” he added. “That’s a quarter of the season left to play so I don’t think we’re anywhere near the end.

“The biggest part of the season is now, to winning, getting promoted or relegated, it all happens now, those last 12 games. Like I said earlier, these 11 games left for our experiences, there’s a lot on them individually for players.

“Of course I always think about the future, but there’s no way I’m picking people individually off and telling them - I want you to be here next year - and that gets out. We’re a team and we have to respect each other. We need to take that to the end of the line before we get into those sorts of conversations.”

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FORUM: Forum with coaching staff ahead of the Leyton Orient game

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But we wondered if there were other areas where he could start to look forward, particularly with the gap to the drop zone having extended so dramatically.

“No,” he responded emphatically. “A lot of teams had games called off on Saturday, and I was getting texts off my son Brandon at 10.30am in the morning telling me that this was our game in hand.

“He told me that we had to win that one instead of the Newport one, and all I could say was ‘please go away Brandon’ because I was trying to get ready for the game. However, he was right, and we did win the game, so I’m happy for me and him.”

The injury to Nathan Thomas brought Harry McKirdy back into the starting eleven for the weekend away game, and the transition was almost seamless as the team stuck to its shape and discipline.

“It’s good for any manager to see that happening,” he said. “It’s important that it continues to happen through these next games, and that’s why it’s a no from me in terms of us being safe. We must keep pushing on.

“I’d like us to pass better, make cleaner decisions when we get our noses in front, get a position of strength, enjoy that position by being even cleaner in our work, and that’s when the game really comes to you.

“Despite being without Josh Kayode and Nath Thomas, we created chances and we scored good goals and that’s very encouraging. It’s a great competitive edge and spirit that brings that.

“Nathan wasn’t as close to being involved as I relayed at last week’s press conference but he should be training at some point this week. He’s not daft, he knows he has to fight his way back into the team. Nathan’s not daft, he knows that.

“Hopefully we’ll see Josh Kayode in a Carlisle shirt next Saturday, but it’s a real shame for Byron [Webster] that he’ll miss out with the suspension. We’ve talked about him a lot these past few weeks, haven’t we, as to how well he’s been playing.

“He was there again on Saturday winning his tackles and headers, and urging people on, so it’s disappointing for him and us that he’ll miss out. What it does is give others an opportunity, and we’ll look at that over the next few days.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Chris Beech on iFollow United now.

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