United head to Burslem tomorrow to face Port Vale as they return to league action following Tuesday’s visit to the Stadium of Light.
Speaking ahead of the game, boss Chris Beech said: “They’re a very good team and they are very consistent.
“They have people like Tom Pope who have won golden boots, there are players who have played for us, they’ve got a top winger in David Worrall who is excellent at what he does, and the older he’s got the more he understands goals and assists.
“It’s a really good group of players and there’s a great team spirit, and the staff are also very good at what they do. John Askey has been around the game a long time, he’s a great bloke, and they have good people behind the scenes.
“I worked with their CEO Colin Garlick at Rochdale and he’s very strategic and logical in how he makes his football decisions. The owners have put a lot of their personal money into the club and I do know they signed players in the pandemic, and one of them is on three years, so that’s a big financial commitment. Fair play to them.”
“But it’s another opportunity for us,” he continued. “It’s a beautiful ground and pitch and it’s one to look forward to.
“I’ve mentioned John, and he’s a fantastic manager. I voted for him last year as the manager of the year because he did unbelievably well. He was good at Macclesfield in the youth system in terms of picking up the pieces, then he got the job as the manager, did great getting them promoted to the League, went to Shrewsbury and now Port Vale.
“They play good football and I watched their Morecambe game. It wasn’t a penalty on Cole Stockton, they probably would have gone on to represent a win in that game.
“They’re very structured, very consistent, excellent in terms of progressing last season and they have a few ex-Carlisle players. There’s also David Worrall who I know personally, when I started coaching 17, 18 years ago, he was the youngest debutant to come through the youth system I was running at Bury.
“He’s very professional, he was top assists last season or something like that in the league. They’ve got players that know this league and know how to, when they’re not playing that well, still win.
“They’ve got a big squad that’s financially supported from the new takeover and a good structure to get promoted.”
“For ourselves, we’ve seen from the games so far that it’s about both boxes,” he told us. “As long as we don’t give anything away too early, too easy, we work hard and represent our traits, I believe our team and squad are capable of competing with any in League Two.
“Whether we get it on our terms or not will depend on the day itself, but I think obviously goals have to come from different areas. We’re scoring from set plays and in free play, we are keeping, or have done here, clean sheets in the league. We’ve just got to try and keep to those traits.
“Do we change our approach because of injuries - that’s a possibility, but we’ll see when we get to Saturday. I normally do prep on a Thursday, but I’ll give ourselves an extra 24 hours because of the situation we’re in.
“I don’t like players having fitness tests on a Saturday morning to see if they’re ok, because that means they haven’t trained properly all week. That just provides risk for everybody, and if they start and have to come off it changes all the planning that’s been done.
“Having said that, sometimes you can over plan. There was no plan for Jon Mellish to play the other day, then he comes on and scores two goals against the team he supports. He nearly scored a hattrick at the team he loves. He’s even done a Borini gif. How can you do that when you play for Carlisle – you’re just Mellish! There was definitely no plan in him getting those goals.”
“Having said that, he’s fulfilling the promise we knew was there last season,” he added. “He could have scored at Crawley, a couple at Cambridge, it was goal line clearances and let’s be right, he could have scored at Scunthorpe.
“It’s what Jon can do now he’s allowed to do it. What’s great is our support of that. I know we do try and create these crescendos of negativity at times that aren’t really there, I don’t know why we look to do that.
“It could actually be a massive hiccup and change of direction. But I knew it was right to play Jon again and he’s gone and done what he’s done. I don’t know when’s the last time a midfield player scored three goals in a week at Carlisle?
“If I looked at the stats, and that’s why I had to change the team, over a 30-odd game season, the midfield scored three goals in all of it, but Jon’s done that already on his own.”
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