With the first week of pre-season now under the belt, home and hosed manager Chris Beech spoke at his virtual press conference about how good it was to be back and putting the lads through their paces out on the training pitch.
“All of the players are training well, they’re back together doing two sessions each day and they look fit and well,” he said. “There’s a determination to work hard and everybody looked refreshed when they came through the door.
“I just really enjoy it. I treat every day like it’s my first day at work. You should never take any day for granted. I’m honoured to represent our club as manager, privileged and proud of representing our community doing that. I’ve said it a lot this week but I really wish the season started tomorrow.”
Top of any press conference agenda during pre-season is the subject of potential incomings, with the United boss already having indicated that he was actively in pursuit of a goalkeeper.
“We’re ok in terms of what we’ve got, I think we’re pretty good,” he told us. “We need a goalkeeper. We’ll see what else we can try to do to make difference in very prudent ways.
“We’ve got to try and improve what we did last year, last season was excellent, we’ve got to try and make improvements and, to do that, numbers aren’t necessarily the right answer. It’s quality towards what we’re trying to do within that.
“There are lots of lads available - if we do improve we have to make sure they will make us better. We have to make sure that any new player can help us.
“We are looking for a keeper. I had various ways of going, there’s player-coach ways, there’s loans, there’s mid-range age keepers and there are goalkeepers that are getting literally thrown at me in different ways, if you pardon the pun.
“It depends, it has to meet finance, opportunity, support of the person that we’ve already got, so there are a lot of things you have to consider. We’ve got a few things going on and hopefully we’ll have good news on that very soon.”
“The good thing is that we know we have a good keeper in place already with us,” he added. “Magnus played for us at Cheltenham last season when we were going for points to get in the play-offs and he was absolutely superb.
“He was really good. He’s here, but he needs support and challenging, so we’re actively seeking for that department.”
Looking at other key areas to reinforce, he commented: “We’ve pretty much got six or seven players for each area, in terms of defence, midfield and attacking units, so if we do take players on it will be to try to improve what we already are.
“It’s difficult, because every penny counts here at Carlisle, and in the same breath you have to make sure you spend it wisely. It’s all about making sure whatever we do makes us better.
“Currently we’re talking to a lot of players, of course we are, but we’ll have to wait and see how that all transpires, but the season doesn’t start tomorrow. We’ve got a competitive squad right now and we want to grow and enhance our principles of the way we like playing football.
“Until the roof’s on the building you’re always working and building. We’re going to keep doing that, keep looking, keep active. I think we’ve got 18 or 19 outfield players. That incorporates two or three younger players, so we’ll have to see what becomes available.
“I’m very aware of the fact that Carlisle needs a workforce that can deal with difference as you go through a year. It’s important the culture and environment’s correct and we don’t look to affect that positive vibe we’ve got with bringing in players that don’t want to be part of that.
“Their character and attitude is vital to me, and then you want them to produce their own individual skills on the pitch within our team ethos. I’m currently looking, of course I am, but I want to progress our current situation, not harm it.”
But we wondered if the departure of three striking options had left any holes to fill in the forward areas?
“Possibly, but we have other factors like Brennan Dickenson, Lewis Alessandra, Zach Clough, Tristan Abrahams and Gime Toure who can all play up front,” he said. “It’s not too bad of a start to look at a framework of what you might be able to do or not do.
“We’re always looking to what will be ultimately players that win games, and we’re always looking at players that might make that difference. But it’s vital we keep our environment right. It’s vital the players who are here step up and enjoy their opportunities.
“I’m really looking forward to what that might bring. Of course those lads have gone, and you don’t offer contracts out because you don’t want to keep players. If they’re progressing to League One or getting financially rewarded very handsomely, there’s not too much we can do about that.
“What we can do once that gap appears is make sure we use our intelligence to fulfil opportunity for somebody else, and I think we’ve done that very well.
“I’ve often said – and will continue to say – that players pick teams in their behaviour and how they go about their work. I’m really pleased how the first week’s gone and I’m really looking forward to how the rest of it will pan out.”