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Club News

MANAGER: We look more controlled and stronger so far

Chris Beech on still wanting more from his squad

27 August 2021

United head into the north-east on Saturday afternoon with an unbeaten start to protect, and manager Chris Beech is under no illusion that the home fans will be doing their bit to help their team get the win they also want.


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“They’re a very vocal bunch,” he confirmed. “I remember a few shouts when I signed from Blackpool of ‘Beech, get back to Blackpool you donkey’. As I turned round, I thought, bloomin’ eck, these away fans are a bit rough, but then realised they were our fans.

“But I soon got to grips with that. I tried my best and hope I earned the right to have a bit of respect from them in the period I played for them. Yeah, that stadium can be a cauldron of ... information.

“We got there with an unbeaten start and we’re pleased, but I think it’s more than that. Of course I want more and the lads deserve more.

“But often when you get to that point, if you don’t carry on working hard it can soon turn the other way, or it can soon turn up even faster. We did some unbelievable things last season, we look more controlled and stronger so far, but we have to make sure we stay like that and enhance it.”

And having spoken about the chances created so far, he added: “Any team that’s going to be successful needs to score. Ultimately it isn’t currently a problem, it isn’t, because we’re playing well and we’re getting into very good areas using different inroads.

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“We aren’t conceding many, and you only need one goal to win if you’re doing that. It would be lovely to score six, but you can’t guarantee that, so you have to try your best to improve everything.

“I always look at other teams, I think it’s important to have an awareness of everything around you, and I’ve said this before, but I think Alfie May got eight goals as Cheltenham’s top goal scorer and they managed to get what they wanted last season.

“Of course we want players to score goals and we want that to go within the style of the fast attacking football we play. Ultimately I wouldn’t say it’s a problem, but we do want more. At the same time I want to improve our goalkeeping, defensive and midfield areas too.

“Last year we broke all sorts of records and played in different styles, and we had highest shot count and least shots on targets conceded, and things like that. Of course you want to get back to those standards again, but it’s very difficult to stay at that, so there are going to be sways within games.

“Paul Farman got a lot of accolades last season for clean sheets, but they came from the style and attitude of the players in front of him during that period when he got the clean sheets.

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“I’d have to look back but I bet he wasn’t man of the match in any of those games, not that Paul isn’t a good keeper, it’s just the style and the way we played enabled a protection mechanism to him. You’ve got to be mindful of that.

“Port Vale and Tranmere aren’t conceding goals and both of those teams are trying their best to score more. These things change as we go on, and other things happen. Newport had their first home game on Tuesday and they conceded eight, and this is football, it can happen at any time.

“All you can do is make sure you’re ready for everything that comes at you. This time last year Morecambe conceded loads of goals against Cambridge and Newcastle, so it’s just football.

“Fans will get very irate and strong in opinion of it, but ultimately it does matter, but doesn’t matter if you can stay on your journey of what you’re trying to achieve. It’s your reaction to the mistakes that matters.

“I’d be very frustrated if it happened to us, and I’d be very angry and have a sleepless night, you don’t do your job to have that happen, but it does sometimes happen. I have no doubt both of those teams will respond.”

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Also in the news recently has been the subject of football and vaccinations, with some managers and clubs taking a very strong stance.

“Ross, our physio, he knows where everybody is on certain things,” he commented. “I do a lot of things at Carlisle that go beyond your role as manager, but giving the lads a jab in their arm is one step too many!

“Ross is aware of where we all are and what we’re all doing. I had two jabs because of Brandon, Brandon had two because he’s been on the list where he wasn’t even allowed out of the house for nine months.

“Everybody has their own personal rights, to a degree as a football player you try your best to own the footballing ones, but you can’t tell people how to live their lives. You try your best to influence but we’re in a pretty comfortable, good place.

“Mind you, I remember going top of the league on January 2 and within a week having complete chaos with more than 85% of the squad with Covid. I suppose that tells you don’t count your chickens and all that. 

“As for encouraging people, I want my players to walk round in one of those bee suits, not socialise, not go anywhere, don’t talk to anybody and turn into monk footballers who only sleep, eat, isolate and play. But that’s a selfish manager!”

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