United were reduced to ten men with 30 minutes still to play at St James Park on Saturday afternoon, and manager Chris Beech spoke afterwards about his frustration at not getting at least a point, but also about how pleased he was with the efforts shown by his team.
“Great credit to the lads for giving everything in what was a physical game,” he said. “I’m really pleased with that, and I always felt we were going to get a goal, to be honest with you – but we didn’t.
“We have to take that on the chin, but the efforts from the lads were really commendable and there was some good quality football within that. And that was in blustery conditions.
“But, of course, I am also very disappointed that we lost because I’m naturally a winner. Along with that I felt like the efforts the lads gave us deserved something.”
“Yes, we’ve lost, but I think it’s a day where we have to stay positive when we know people are giving us everything,” he added. “The performance in this game relates to us being positive. I did feel like we’d get something, but it just didn’t come for us.
“We can talk about being ruthless, and it would have been nice to go ahead in the first half when Lewi Alessandra had that chance, because it was a free header. Gime Toure was in the six-yard box after that but he puts the ball on his right foot and slightly misses the target.
“Joe Riley had a couple of shots, JJ Kayode was around and about the danger areas, and one fell great to Jon Mellish in the second half, but he couldn’t quite connect correctly. He put the keeper under pressure, but he didn’t manage to get the goal.
“They’re all good moments and we’ve got to support that. It’d be nice if one of them goes in, but it’s like we said the other day, we scored three goals in each of the last two home games, so that’s pretty ruthless.
“What we can see is that the fitness levels in the game are high, and there was talk about their winger being a standout League Two player last year - will he go for big money, and that kind of thing - and I do think he’s a good player, but I think our players did very well against a good team, which made us look a good team as well.”
One of the moments to go against the Blues was the eventual substitution of Aaron Hayden, who struggled to recover from a clash between himself, Ryan Bowman and Paul Farman.
“Ryan’s from Carlisle, isn’t he, so that means he’s got a bit about him in terms of physicality,” the manager commented. “He didn’t really play the ball at that incident, because Paul caught it, but his nudge helped Aaron to hit his own goalkeeper, because he’s clever.
“Max Hunt came on and he did well. He kept trying to find the channels and he had a good tussle with their forwards, and the physical side of Bowman’s game.
“That’s how he plays football and that’s what’s serving well for him and his team. I want us to be ruthless, but more in terms of our movement, technique, finishing, pace, pressing and things like that.
“That’s the other side of the game, but Aaron had the knock on his nose and his cheek bone, and he tried to carry on, but he couldn’t. We’ll just have to see how he is. Thankfully this is a one o’clock kick off so we won’t be home too late, so it will feel like the lads are resting on Sunday.
“We’ll just have to wait and see where we are with all of the bumps and bruises, but I’m so supportive of the players giving one hundred percent, and really frustrated that we didn’t get the goal we needed.”
And another of the moments was the set piece which saw Tom Parkes bag the winning goal.
“There’s always confusion on a set piece, but for the amount of possession we had we didn’t put enough pressure on them,” he told us. “They had far less of the play than us, but it often happens like that.
“I was more disappointed with how we started the second half in the middle of the pitch. We had the ball a lot but we kept turning it back over to them, and it gave them a little bit of impetus.
“That led to them getting the break in play and they got on top with the goal, but we definitely had the upper hand even with ten men.
“They had a few breakaways, which will happen when we decide to take major risks to try to get our goal. In league football at the moment you might as well try to get the equaliser, and I feel if they’d got another goal it would have completely deflated us. But I feel it was worth taking that risk to try to get back level.”
One of the really big talking points, of course, was the 60th minute sending off of Carlisle forward Gime Toure, as he appeared to react badly to a challenge with Jake Taylor.
“It’s a learning curve if it is a reaction,” the manager said. “I honestly didn’t see it because, off the back of the free kick being given, I wanted to make sure we had the right people in the right places.
“In my opinion it’s all avoidable, but he’s adamant he was stood on and I’ve told him that players who are exciting and who are good at running past opponents will get kicked. It’s what happens. He has to understand that and it’s a great day for Gime to turn left or right on what’s happened.
“The likes of Messi, Ronaldo and Maradona have been kicked more times than we can imagine, but when they grew through their careers they learned how to deal with it. Their reaction is to get up, dust off and go on to create or score the goal that wins the game.
“I’m not saying Gime is in that area of player, but it’s excitement, skill, touch and movement, and he can bring that. I know it sounds daft but it’s actually a sign of respect to you when you get kicked or nudged constantly.
“The reason they’re doing it to you is because they can’t deal with you. You’ve got to try to be better than that and it’s a shame the ref didn’t see the first incident, because it might have been completely different as to how the whole thing turned out.
“Like I say, I haven’t watched it back yet, but it’s an incident he can avoid. If it looks bad he’s an easy target to be pointed at to say he’s lost his discipline. He’s in the professional game now and it’s a higher demand on the standards in everything, so he has to understand that aspect of it.”
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