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MANAGER: It's down to the players who represent us

Chris Beech on being in the upper reaches of the division

19 January 2021

The run of weekend results left United – who were without a game – sat at the top of the pile, but, with just the 21 games played so far and a fixture backlog to contend with, boss Chris Beech insisted that it counts for absolutely nothing at this still early stage of the campaign.

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“Look, challenging at the top is superb, it’s great reward for everybody’s hard work,” the gaffer said. “I’m pleased for the players because they have to work the hardest. They represent us on the pitch every week, Saturday-Tuesday, and it’s a brilliant effort.

“There’s absolutely no pressure whatsoever to achieve what we’re doing, we’ve just got to continue on this journey. A lot of the players aren’t seasoned professionals, they’ve not even completed a full season of football, it’s going to be interesting to see how we get on with 25 games crammed in.

“Normally this time of year you’re two or three games over the halfway mark, we’re two short of the halfway mark but we’ve managed to win more games than anybody else in our league up to this date, so we’ve got to look to continue to do that.”

Riding high in the division brings an increased level of interest, with national media joining the locals with regular requests for interviews and updates.

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“It’s great for us, and we can’t thank the media enough for how they’re covering us,” he told us. “Quest are doing their bit, people are putting great stats out there – there was one the other day which showed the improvement in terms of league positions, and it was us and Crewe who had made the biggest steps over the course of the last 12 months.

“That’s amazing when you think it’s out of 72 clubs, and well done to everybody for their efforts in helping us to achieve that. But, I’ve said it before, until you can touch something, or see an actual reward, these things ultimately don’t mean very much.”

And, once again, any talk of additional pressure aligned with the current league standing is immediately batted aside.

“There probably would be if we’d had major investment and we should be where we are, but we haven’t, so being where we are is very good,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we understand why we are doing this well.

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“We’ve won more games than anyone else in our league, which is good, and we have to make sure we keep doing that. We have to keep working through whatever difficulties and challenges we face, however or whenever they arrive, because we can’t let them hinder our progress.

“I feel absolutely no pressure whatsoever, and the players don’t, in doing what we’re doing. Looking back to when I got here, would I have expected it to have gone this well … probably no, but I’ve been in professional football since I was 16.

“I was out of work for six months of that and had worked 12 years at Rochdale. The mortgage needs paying, opportunity arises, I’ve come to Carlisle, but in all my working situations, whether as player or coach, I’ve had to be very adaptable, find a way, make it successful.

“I’m proud of the fact I’m here and working as the club’s head coach, and we’re finding ways to adapt to the things that are thrown at us. Adapting is a key element of any successful person, while you try and stick to your principles, and that’s what we’ll continue to try to do.”


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