United head to Scunthorpe tomorrow afternoon as they look to build on their home victory over Southend in what is always a difficult fixture.
Speaking ahead of the game, boss Chris Beech said: “This will be a very tough game.
“It’s a small pitch, obviously no supporters, so it will be different from last Saturday – certainly for us anyway.
“They’ve got a couple of players that were here last year, I have no doubt they’ll be looking out to have a good game. I always did as a player, I looked to play against a previous club, and they’ve got some very, very good individual players in that team that are capable of doing some good things in League Two.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re prepared for them, and the way they play, then concentrate on what we do.”
“We got our win and our clean sheet last week, and I thought that was vital,” he continued. “We start at Scunthorpe with a clean sheet and we have to protect it. We also start with a point and we have to grow it into three.
“You’re going to get turbulence and have speed bumps on your journey. We will not get our own way at Scunthorpe, that’s not how it works. We don’t get our own way in terms of working here all week, it doesn’t happen like that.
“We’ve got to make sure we adapt to those differences and make sure we do get what we want. I do think the clean sheet will give players some confidence.
“Paul (Farman) has had to face a lot of goals going in without actually being asked a lot of questions. It was strange for him, I felt a bit sorry for him, he’s not had a bad game and he’s not been outstanding either, because he’s not been asked that question. Even on Saturday, he had one sort of shot to save.”
Amongst the familiar faces in the Iron ranks are former loanees Alex Gilliead, Ryan Loft and Olufela Olomola, who could all play a part.
“Lofty is a big physical presence and he’ll want to get goals, which he can do on his day, and on other days he doesn’t,” he said. “That’s the way he is, and I think of number 9s in a similar way to goalkeepers in terms of getting better as they get older. Lofty has got great potential, probably more than the Carlisle fans think.
“He’s had a taste of real football during his loan here. He’s been in two great clubs, Spurs and Leicester, where he’ll have been paid very well and trained on excellent training grounds, where everything is really good.
“He obviously came on loan and did things to the best of his abilities before he was released, but he’s got a home now and I’ve got no doubt he’ll be committed to it.
“He did ring me in the summer, and things change, as this club grows, but he’ll definitely be wanting to score against Carlisle. We’ve got to make sure he doesn’t, and if he does we need to score two. That’s just what happens.
“Lofty was a good lad, a young lad trying to find his way, and this was an eye opener to real football for him. Not getting something quickly in the summer, he’s probably very thankful he’s got a two-year contract at Scunthorpe, and I have no doubt that might give him more bite and energy to do well.
“In terms of playing against him, we know he’s physical, he’s got a strange style in being a scorer of great goals when not expected. He’s already done that for Scunthorpe. All you can do is keep the ball off him.
“They’ve got outstanding players in different positions that can support him. Alex Gilliead, he’s been here as a young player, he’s been very good in League One and League Two. I think he’s captain of the team now, playing more of a central role in midfield.
“He’s got great technique and is a good age to make difference at this level. We have to be mindful of the other good players they’ve got.”
New manager Neil Cox, in the hotseat at Glanford Park for just over a month now, is a Scunthorpe-born lad who has returned to his hometown club following a 29-year absence.
“Neil has been about football for a long time,” he told us. “He was a great player and a great assistant manager. It’s now his time to have a go himself, so I’m sure he’ll want to put his mark on the club.
“He’ll get his players ready and I’m sure he’ll look at a home game against Carlisle and think, as Scunthorpe’s manager, that he’s got a chance and he quite fancies it. But I’m manager of Carlisle and I’m thinking I quite fancy it as well.
“We’ll keep doing what we’re doing with a view to improvement, whoever we face. You always want to get better, that’s exactly what every coach, manager and player should want to do.
“We have an ambitious group, and we’ve got to make sure that while we look to improve, it’s making the team stronger. We’re looking for winning habits alongside that and we’ve got to be mindful of players and coaches of getting those traits and habits.
“They’re easily spoken about and very hard to achieve. We’ve got to work very hard to make sure we stay on that platform.”
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