It was about three-quarters of the way into his first press conference that Chris Beech addressed the rather obvious matter that he is not, shall we say, the most showbiz candidate Carlisle United could have invited into their manager’s office this autumn.

This is not a household name or fans’ favourite hired to create an instant buzz, but the former Rochdale assistant manager: a coach of decent experience asked to improve things steadily, from scratch.

“Something’s got to start, and grow, from somewhere,” he said, when asked how he might deal with the “disconnect” between parts of the fanbase and the club.

“They [fans] will be like, I would imagine, ‘Who’s he?’

“I get it. My ego – well, it might get bigger, but it’s not that big. I want the players to get the plaudits. I want supporters to say, ‘This is alright, this. I like this. I like what we’re doing.’

“I want that to grow and I want to see where it ends up. I want to see that connection, and see that support.”

Beech spoke for about 45 minutes after his appointment as head coach on an 18-month deal. He sat alone in the chair – there were no directors present to give their view to the media – and, bearing in mind this is his first go at a top job permanently, was comfortable in holding court.

Beech is a rookie in terms of frontline managerial position but at 45 has built a coaching CV which appealed to Carlisle. The fact it included a strong background of developing young players seems to have ticked one of the club’s larger boxes.

Beech’s years working alongside Keith Hill at Rochdale has also, United hope, given him good, working experience of the levels he must now master in order to steer this season away from peril.

There are long-term ideals in Beech’s appointment, given Carlisle’s wish to become a club that regularly generates (and sells) home-grown players, but also a short-term need. They sit five points above League Two’s relegation place, in fourth-bottom position.

Beech has spent recent weeks watching the team left behind by Steven Pressley and guided since then by caretaker Gavin Skelton. There are obvious grounds for improvement and no assumptions, he said, that the only way is automatically up.

“There’s absolutely nothing guaranteed,” he said. “So the only way isn’t up. We need to make sure that we are speaking about an elephant in the room and not ignoring it. We need to look at it in terms of we need to be better, pass faster, support players forward more, encourage more players to take people on, respond to setbacks better.

“Make sure we’re competitive in games. Make sure we’re winning football matches. And that will come out of habits and traits in training that support good practice in games when it’s under severe pressure.”

On a few specifics, Beech said he had “no problem” in working alongside director of football David Holdsworth; pooling their contacts and experience would only allow United to be stronger, he insisted.

He had also, Beech said, been given “100 per cent freedom” to assess his backroom team, but will initially work with those who were under Pressley. Of Skelton, who now reverts to assistant manager, he said: “Gavin’s been fantastic. I’ve chatted to him and he’s been brilliant in terms of knowing where we are.

“He has taken the reins for the last seven to 10 days, and he will have learned a lot in that time. He’s fully supportive. He’s Carlisle born and bred. I want to utilise that, not push away.”

Beech said he was not a huge fan of the word “philosophy” in football and this may have been a hint at a flexibility in approach. “Now, in football, there is a responsibility to how you perform,” he said. “A lot of managers are losing jobs when they’re actually doing quite well, because they [their clubs] don’t agree with how they play. Wow.”

It seems a safe bet that Carlisle, and their fans, would take wins by any means in their current predicament. Beech said he would send his players out with a clear plan but it would be up to them to implement it, and not be afraid to apply their own creative stamp.

“At Huddersfield, I once scored a goal for Steve Bruce and then got criticised at half-time – ‘What were you doing over there?’ Well, we’re 1-0 up at your old club, Sheffield United, gaffer, what else do you want? If you’re gonna go off plan, you make sure it works.”

Beech’s days as a midfielder, also with Blackpool, Hartlepool and Rochdale, brought him into occasional contact with United. He smiled as he told a tale about a winter fixture at Brunton Park in the 1990s where “the chap who did the kick-ups” (Michael Knighton) ensured the game went ahead on an icy pitch, and Pools were found wanting with inadequate footwear. “The pitch was frozen solid. All your lads had Adidas Samba pimples and I had my metal studs was a write-off game.”

His playing career was followed by a youth coaching path with Bury and the Spotland club, where he then assisted Hill, having acquired qualifications such as the UEFA Pro Licence. He encountered the admired Carlisle youth teams of Eric Kinder, recalling players such as Tom Aldred, Gary Madine and Andy Cook, and was assistant to Hill when Dale’s first team won 2-0 here in the FA Cup three years ago.

He says Hill gave him plenty of leeway to “almost be as a manager” in his work at Rochdale, and when he spoke of his ambition for a role like this, he identified other unheralded bosses who made the most of a modest start, and to whom, in this undeniably difficult job at a club in need of a great lift, he might aspire.

“I look at people like Eddie Howe,” he said. “I look at people like Dean Smith. Dean had a lot of sympathy for me [when Hill and Beech were sacked at Rochdale in March]. He invited me in [to Aston Villa] because he lost his job himself at Leyton Orient after five or six years helping Martin Ling. It was that question, ‘What do I do now?’

“He was talking about opening some soccer school. He ended up becoming head of youth at Walsall who would play against my team. He’s had a different way in, a different route. Intelligence, luck, success, and he’s in the Premier League now.

“Brendan Rodgers was another who didn’t really play, finished and was a long time coaching before he got his opportunity. I know that’s at a lot higher level and I’m realistic in where we are. But, for whatever reason, it’s me now.”

And if indeed he can have United’s fans saying, “This is alright, this,” sometime soon, nobody will much mind who he is, or where he came from.