The Blues open up their home league season with a game against Southend United on Saturday, with an earlier kick off timing of 1pm.
And with the hosts looking to get their season going, manager Chris Beech confirmed that his squad was in buoyant mood.
“They are, they’re determined, as they have been from the off, and they know where they need to improve,” he said. “The first thing we say is pretty obvious, we have to stop giving presents away.
“To be two down going into half time in both of our last two games puts everyone on the back foot. It becomes about how different people react and how they express themselves at that point.
“We need stop the gifts and give ourselves a fighting chance. Within that, if we do that, the lads will excel and do very well. They’ve just got to relax.
“They’ve got to make sure they’re doing the right things in the right way. I spoke to a few of the lads on Sunday, we’d watched the game on the way back on the coach, because we can now.
“I’ve been really pleased with the energy in both second halves, but you look at more experienced managers than yourself. I looked at Chris Wilder on Monday night, he’s 2-0 down and whatever he’s done doesn’t matter. However they play from that point is irrelevant because of the score line.
“I remembered when Chris got the job at Sheffield United, we played them, and they were getting booed off. I don’t think they won any of their first four league fixtures, but they ended up getting 100 points, which was amazing.
“He’ll be very frustrated because his team haven’t got going, and they’ve given away two situations which are almost impossible to get back.
“The first goal can be so important in any game, but I’ve been pleased with how we’ve responded. What it does impact on in terms of playing on our terms, and relaxing and expressing, is that it’s very difficult to implement that when you’re constantly chasing.
“If you end up chasing and chasing something you’re never in your stride, you’re never quite right. You can try to get the next goal, but you’re susceptible to conceding more, particularly as the game goes on, because you tend to try harder and take more risks.
“We’ve got to put ourselves in a better position by not giving opportunities to opponents. It’s not like we’ve been under pressure when the gifts have been given out either, but somehow we’ve found ourselves two goals down at half time in both games when we haven’t been dominated. That’s really frustrating.”
And on the need for the players to keep believing in what they’re doing, he told us: “I would suggest the will and energy in that squad, you can see it, it really has great drive to represent Carlisle and its community, it does have that understanding.
“It’s probably a little bit too strong. Relax, and then enjoy, because that will make you play better. It’s very hard to explain to the lads in any walk of life, there may be some chaos in surgery but the main man has to make sure he’s calm, not erratic and loud and makes those mistakes that are massively consequential. As a player, let’s be controlled.
“We’ve had our injuries, which we’re coming through now, and that happens. We haven’t yet got our rhythm, but it will come. How good we will be will be determined on how we can deal with these things that happen.
“You never get everything on your own terms. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out if you keep giving things away, you’re making it so hard to get what you want. So stop it.”
“It’s a message I keep repeating to the players because if they relax, calm down and enjoy their football they are going to be a really good group,” he concluded. “In the old days you could help with that process in a number of different ways, but at the moment you can’t take them for a night out and have a beer. Obviously you would never encourage doing that at the wrong time.
“The lads just need to relax, go out and be who they are. We’ve recruited some really good characters, some good energy and fit players, and players who can look to compete in and win any League Two football match.
“That’s across the team, not just at the front. We can look at Aaron [Hayden] and at where he is now compared to when I walked through the door, and the difference you can see in different people is excellent.
“We did have a core group of six or seven players who were part of that last year, so it is a new team, but there’s still a core to it. I’m repeating myself but we need to stop giving these gifts away and start enjoying the challenges that are in front of us.”
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