United’s 2020/21 campaign comes to a close on Saturday afternoon with the visit of Walsall, and manager Chris Beech spoke to us on Thursday morning about how he wants to see his team approach the game.
“I touched on it after the Leyton Orient game, but I think it’s important that we’re as professional as we can be and we represent Carlisle United on and off the pitch,” he said. “We’ve got an opportunity to do that, so I want us to be at our best.
“Dealing with us not being able to get into the play-offs was obviously hard to take, and that’s why I was so enthused with the response to that which we got from the players at Orient.
“We had a tough week with the two away trips, and after the Cheltenham game we knew we couldn’t get into the play-offs, so the response was really good.”
“The Orient game was a strange game, and it might be the same on Saturday, but it won’t be through a lack of us wanting to do well and get the three points for Carlisle United,” he added. “We want to win, and careers can change in games for the good and the bad.
“The whole point of being in professional sport is to try and achieve things. Walsall are probably in a similar position to Leyton Orient were in that they’re looking for a new direction. I think they’ve just appointed a new director of football and their manager situation is a little bit up in the air.
“They’ve been a big club in the past, we go past their stadium very often on our travels and they’ll be coming up here to win the game. I expect a tough game, but we have to make sure that we prepare correctly.”
And on United’s home record, which has seen them float around the top places for goals scored and results attained on their own patch in the country throughout the campaign, he commented: “We should be proud of our home record and we’ll be looking to round the season off in a good way.
“We put a lot of hard work and energy into it and we’ve played well and scored some good goals. I haven’t looked at it recently, but I know we’ll be right up there in terms of points and goals scored at home.
“It was great we were able to share it with some of our supporters earlier in the season, and it’s such a shame we haven’t been able to share more of the good times with them, and when we needed them, to have that extra support.
“We obviously went through a period where we didn’t win as many games as we would have liked, and I believe the supporters would have helped us if they were here with us.”
Looking back at the campaign as a whole, he said: “It’s been a strange season. It’s gone really quick but it also feels like it’s been a long one.
“There’s been a lot of ups and downs and we’ve had all sorts thrown at us as a team. That isn’t just us as playing staff, it’s all of the staff at the club. In the last few months more people have started to come back to work, but some staff are still having to be patient and remain on furlough.
“All of the staff have a real attachment to Carlisle United and they haven’t been able to work, that’s a different hard thing to go through. We’ve been fortunate as football staff to be able to continue working, but it has been in extreme circumstances.”
“I really thank everybody at the club for their support in whatever way they’ve tried to help this season,” he continued. “We’ve always been able to reconnect with people that we couldn’t utilise during the worst of the pandemic, the likes of Richard Rose up the road and Kendal Rugby Club were so helpful when we weren’t able to train outside.
“It’s been testing but enjoyable, but ultimately we haven’t achieved what we wanted to. I can’t really critique too much because we have had a lot thrown at us and we haven’t given up. We’ve given it a real good go, and it would be nice to finish the season on a high on Saturday.
“At every football club, especially with what has gone on at the top level in the last few weeks, the supporters are the key and we want to represent them as best we can.”