United boss Chris Beech commented after Tuesday’s game on the importance of substitutes coming off the bench to make an impact, with all four of United’s replacements in the Grimsby fixture playing their part to lift things up a gear or two just when it was needed most.
“You’re always likely to see changes with the games we’ve got, either for the start of the game or with the substitutions we make,” he said. “Some are forced and some planned.
“Football is ever-changing and your opponents are always different. We’ve just got to look at every aspect and the players need to make sure they’re ready to go if they’re called upon.”
“We can talk about confidence within that, but I think that’s an easy thing to shoot at the lads when results aren’t great,” he continued. “I think what we’ve got to do is make sure we always work hard and be honest with ourselves.
“That team spirit and that connection that we’ve got will be tested, but we can step up and answer the questions. The lads are great and they’re doing well, but we’ve got to make sure we get the value of that by getting the three points.”
One who stood out when he took to the pitch in the second half in the midweek was Jack Armer, who slotted into his now familiar right back position with ease.
“He’s given us something to think about,” the manager said. “If you look at someone coming to the club that hadn’t made a professional debut, amongst many of the other players we’ve got here, he’s just working as hard as he can.
“The biggest thing for me isn’t the performance, it was his attitude in terms of trying to become a first-team football player. He dealt with an early injury in pre-season, came in for Hayes & Yeading, that was his first start, and if we’re being honest he struggled towards the end of that game.
“But he soon got to grips with how quick and how hard and challenging it can be playing professional football. He came in just before Christmas and did great, and he’s been very professional and patient waiting for another opportunity.
“He definitely took it the other night. All you can say to someone like that is well done.”