United boss Chris Beech spoke once again at his virtual press conference on Thursday morning about the importance of keeping going for the full 90 minutes, having seen his team strike twice in the FA Cup game on Sunday, to peg back a two-goal deficit.
“I think it’s vital that your workforce understands the importance of always working hard,” he said. “You get your rewards deep into games if you do that.
“You have to always be looking at why things are as they are, whether you’re playing well or if things aren’t so good. I suppose that’s what happened in the FA Cup.
“The lads weren’t playing bad but weren’t excelling. At the same part we were having a lot of shots, hit the bar and post, had penalty decisions turned down.
“Even if they’re not falling in, if you have an ability to keep going those types of chances will keep coming and, as we saw, they might just go for you.”
“I’ve asked Jacob [Blain] our analyst to look into this for us, because I’d love to know over Sir Alex Ferguson’s career, if you stopped a game on 80 minutes, what Manchester United would or wouldn’t have achieved.
“Having the ability to go right to the end is a massive factor in any sport. It got called Fergie-time, it was that prominent with them scoring late goals. You have to encourage that behaviour among your players because it is a vital period of any game.
“Everybody gave everything for Fergie, right to the end, and these were world class players. We got our just rewards for doing that on Sunday.”
With the good news that both he and Jon Mellish had picked up nominations for the Sky Bet League Two October awards, he also spoke about the collective effort that tends to surround this type of accolade.
“If people are sitting up and taking notice it’s fantastic,” he told us. “It’s all of our work, not just me.
“You drive the ship but others have to follow you, that’s what we’re doing at the moment on and off the pitch, and we need to make sure we continue to do that.
“If it lands it lands, if it doesn’t it doesn’t, it doesn’t change any focus on what we’re trying to do on Saturday.
“But to be honest with you, and Jon will probably admit this too, we don’t do the work for a well-done, or to win slimmer of the week or best dressed, or whatever it is. We do it because we want three points.
“We have to continue to do that. It’s great to be looked at but whether we get it or don’t get it doesn’t change anything towards what we’re going to try and do in our next opportunity, which is against Cheltenham.
“To be fair, I don’t know how October could have gone any better. You beat Barrow in first Cumbrian derby for the first time in nearly 50 years, beat Morecambe at home for the first time in the club’s history, score three at home in consecutive home games, all sorts of things going on, and Jon’s been a big part of that along with the other lads.
“Not beating Exeter, difficult because we had 10 men, probably determines who gets that award, but we’ve done well and I want to keep continuing to do well.
“We have to keep sticking to our simple traits – hard work, great energy, and representing some honest values.”
More good news came on the injury front with the confirmation that first-year professional defender Tom Wilson is now back in training following a prolonged injury lay-off.
“He’s training now, which is really pleasing,” he said. “He had a bad knock on his ankle and had to have an operation on it. It’s good to see him on the training ground.
“Tom has got good attitude, his physicality, and his body fat is really low, he’s looked after himself to the best he possibly could to be in a position to get going again. And he’s just getting going again, so that’s great.”
Meanwhile football is on hold for loanees Jamie Armstrong, Charlie Barnes, Charlie Birch and Liam Lightfoot with the current lockdown binging an end to matches for Kendal, at least until the beginning of December.
“The majority of those lads are there until January with their loan deals, but you can recall them and reloan them, but there’s no real current need at the moment,” he explained. “They’re not at a stage to enhance an opportunity for our three points on Saturday.
“If they get to that stage great, if not, some things just don’t work out. At the moment they’re in that in-between position. I’m hopeful, I’ve spoken to Gav about this as well, because it’s a shame the football has been closed down.
“They were enjoying it, and if they were at a slightly higher level they could still play, so it’s a strange sort of freeze position. It is what it is, we’ll just have to address it when things change.”