Carlisle United have today handed Gavin Skelton a new 18-month deal as assistant head coach.

The Blues have moved quickly to extend the Cumbrian's stay at Brunton Park.

They have brought Skelton's contract length in line with that of new head coach Chris Beech.

The deal runs until the summer of 2021 and comes two days after the appointment of Beech as Steven Pressley's successor.

The quick confirmation of Skelton's deal confirms how highly he is regarded by members of the United hierarchy.

It was always expected that a new boss would be asked to work with the 38-year-old, who was caretaker manager for two games.

The former United and Gretna player has been a coach at Brunton Park since 2017, initially with the under-18s and then, after a short-lived spell as Workington boss, assistant manager to Pressley in the senior set-up from this summer.

Skelton's previous deal was due to run out at the end of this season.

Beech today said he was keen to establish a good working partnership with Skelton despite having not worked with the Cumbrian before.

He said: "I spoke a lot with David [Holdsworth, director of football] after the interview process had been completed and much of that was about planning for the future.

"Gavin is fully included in that and that’s because I feel it’s vital for us, as a club, to have his input into first team affairs.

"The thing I’ve found with him already is that he’s just a really good person. He’s humble, he says his piece within that, he speaks with honesty, he’s committed to the club and he’s the type of person who will raise a potential problem at the same time as offering a way to solve it.

"When you have people like that around you’d be daft not to utilise them.

"In terms of football, it’s a business where this happens quite a lot. With Keith Hill [at Rochdale] we were very successful as a pair, but we didn’t know anything about each other when we first started off. If anything, we were pitted against each other with our youth teams until we both got to Rochdale together.

"Our relationship grew out of nothing and with the way we’ve already started to bounce off each other, I think that will be the same for us here."