The Blues ended their season with a goalless draw – clean sheet number 15 of the season – with Walsall at Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon and we caught up with Chris Beech to get his final post-match thoughts of the campaign shortly after full-time.
“It had and end-of-season feel about it towards the end, I can’t deny that, but we did start the game with intent to try and win it,” he said. “Their goalkeeper is being interviewed by their press so that shows the type of game he had in the first half.
“We had chances with Nick Anderton, Gime Toure and Jack Armer, and he made some good saves, but from my perspective we should be scoring those goals.
“It became an even match after that, Walsall played some good football in parts and they took the game professionally. Nobody could break the deadlock in the end.
“We picked the team to try and get three points and Walsall did the same thing. A lot of people will talk about this as a dead rubber but there are players on the pitch giving everything to try and achieve something.
“We didn’t have the quality to break them down in the end, but we should have scored in the first half really.”
Having taken the run to just one defeat in 11 games he spoke more about the shut-out which restricted the Saddlers to just seven shots through the course of the 90 minutes.
“I wanted the clean sheet, and that takes us to 15,” he commented. “At the start of the season, although it’s a high target I earmarked 20, so we’ve fallen short of that.
“I don’t know the other results yet but I think we’ll be the top goal scorers at home and I wanted to get past 40, but we couldn’t do that.
“But we have to give credit to the players overall for what they’ve done having been through so much this season.
“We’ve got to celebrate what we’ve achieved because in theory it shouldn’t really happen. Sometimes that is difficult to hear from a Carlisle perspective, because our fans think we are the best club in the world because they love the club.
“If you look at it with logic and understanding we’ve done very well. Of course, I’m disappointed because we wanted to try and touch something at the end of the season, but I think the players will have learned a lot in that time.
“In reality, in terms of how it’s supported, it’s hard to gain. We’ve gone beyond those parameters. We’ve played football with good content, we’ve scored lots of goals and had a really good go this season, so well done to everybody.
“We’ve seen some great, honest hard work. There’s been some quality within it and some great attitude to respond to setback in the journey we went on. Of course we want to try and achieve something.
“Whether you’re overfunded, underfunded, it doesn’t really matter when the game starts, you just have to represent yourselves, and that’s what we’ve tried to do every 90 minutes.”
Looking ahead to next season, he confirmed that the focus will once again be on improvement in every area.
“If you think the long game, and think about where we were in terms of last summer and seven players, we have to credit that and then try to improve it,” he told us. “We’re outperforming in terms of a football perspective and our finance, but we have to find a way of still making it stronger and better.
“We’ll be looking to improve those who are still here and we want to upskill the young players so that we get even stronger as a group.
“I’m really pleased with how we regained our form and fitness after the extreme circumstances we faced, and to have only lost one of the last 11 is credit to the players.
“We didn’t win as many as we would have liked, but we did show that we have good attributes and that we want to compete. That’s important and it must continue next season.
“You’d like to think we’ll improve but that needs supported to be able to do that. They’re tough questions because it’s been tough out there in the world. What I do know is I’ll have more than seven players before I come back for pre-season.
"What I’ll have to try and do is try to retain certain individuals and enhance the players we’ve got. The experiences the players have had this season will stand them in good stead, a lot of them have experienced new things so I’m looking forward to stepping forward with that.
“There’s no guarantees of anything, everybody starts again at zero. All those teams who finished above us with far more resources have a chance to go again in the summer, so we’ve got to make sure we compete against those teams and go beyond that line.
“I’m an ambitious person and I’m a person who likes winning, I’ve tried to do that since I came in and I’ll continue to do that to try and make us better, no matter how harsh circumstances sometimes are. There are no excuses from me.”
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