United head to face Sutton for the first time on Saturday afternoon with last year’s National League champions showing real signs of settling as they adjust to life in the EFL.
Speaking ahead of the game, Chris Beech said: “I think it’ll be a very similar to the Hartlepool away fixture in terms of the atmosphere. And of course they have great strengths in what they do.
“They’re completely different to Hartlepool. I watched the game on TV a couple of weeks ago, they completely dominated Hartlepool. I think Fela got a couple of chances near the end, nearly got them back in the game, but you could see that Sutton are very good at what they do.
“I have no doubt they’ll be looking at us thinking maybe there’s a nice opponent to be playing. But we’ve got to make sure we’re right at what we do, and make sure we’re competitive and good to go, and that there’s a good feeling when we’re getting back on the bus.”
“I’ve seen them a couple of times now and they’re strong in a lot of areas,” he added. “They were on the plastic pitch last year and they’ve invested and made sure the facility is fit for the Football League, so well done to them.
“Well done for getting promoted and they’ll just be enjoying every opportunity they have in an environment where there is probably very little pressure, and everything is to be enjoyed and experienced.
“They’ll be in that mindset of just having come up and the positivity that brings, so we’ve got to be wary of all of their strengths at the same time as being organised and ready to go with what we want to do.
“They’ve earned their right to be in the Football League and they’re adjusting in that. They’ll be celebrating tackles, never mind goals, because they’re in that moment. As a football club, it will plateau, level out somewhere down the line, but currently the party has just started for them.
“We’re aware of that feel-good factor but we have to make sure we’re very good at what we do, and that’s what professional traits and professionalisms are, it’s being capable, available for dealing with difference in opponents at different times.
“We’re playing a very vibrant Sutton at their home. It won’t be easy, but we have to match the energy and, if we do that, we’ll be fine.”
United fans who make the journey (expected to be close to 600) will see familiar faces in Richie Bennett and Dean Bouzanis, both of who are bound to want to do well against their former club.
“I’m aware of their players and their strengths because that’s always something to respect,” he commented. “We have our plans for the game and we know the opposition will be trying to put their plan in place to stop us.
“We want to be energetic and at it and we want to be causing our problems. Even last Saturday we saw some very good goals, considering the type of goal we conceded, so it’s obvious what we want to steer away from and what we want to aim towards.”
And a special congratulations was kept until last for midfielder Craig Dundas, who has forging his way in the Football League ranks at the tender age of 40.
“I’ve noticed Gav going on a few extra runs and joining in on the warm ups so I think it’s a story that’s inspired him,” he told us. “Maybe he’s trying to tap me on the shoulder and hint at something, but Sarah McKnight hasn’t texted to say he’s registered, so I think we’re safe from that one from that point of view.
“It’s brilliant, and whether you’re 16 or of an older age, making your Football League debut is a great experience and well done to him.”