New boss Chris Beech got off to a decent start as Carlisle United drew their FA Cup second-round tie at Forest Green 2-2.

After his appointment last week, Beech would have had a couple of training sessions with his players ahead of Saturday’s match. But the cup tie at the New Lawn was a bit of a free hit, wasn’t it?

It allowed the new head coach to get used to working with his players and he had, obviously, noticed a couple of things in training, with Aaron Hayden coming into the starting line-up, as well as Byron Webster starting again.

But I think the full effects of the work Beech is doing with the squad won’t be seen until we are another month down the line.

I know managers and head coaches get judged as soon as they come in at a club, but I think that’s a bit unfair. They have got to assess things, and you can’t assess everyone inside a couple of days.

Something I do like about Beech is he has said he doesn’t like the word “philosophy”, and I agree. You can’t have a philosophy if you don’t have the players to execute that philosophy. You have to play with what you have got and take it from there.

I’m sure Beech will get the chance to bring his own men in but, at the minute, he’s going to coach the players he has and try to get them up the League Two table. So far, his interviews have been good.

In terms of the first starting XI Beech named, yes the likes of Jarrad Branthwaite who missed the Forest Green match through illness have been playing well of late but at the end of the day, if he had decided to go with a completely different 11, you have to allow him scope to do that.

I know Webster has come in for a bit of flak and has been out of the team, but there are going to be times when he is needed in defence. Beech might view things slightly differently to how ex-manager Steven Pressley did, and he might say the defence were being targeted because they weren’t getting enough protection in front.

Beech will look at the whole team and might decide to set-up a little bit differently. The formation he decides to go with now could end up suiting someone like Hayden better than it suits a Jon Mellish.

It’s up to him to decide what personnel he wants in the side and what system he wants to play. He could go back to Mellish and Branthwaite a couple of weeks’ down the line, but you just need to let the new boss have time to work out how he wants to line-up.

This Saturday, we have a massive game at Morecambe who are bottom of the league.

Arguably, the derby has maybe come around a bit too quickly in Beech’s rein. He, probably, would have rather have had a home game. But if the Cumbrians can get a win at the Globe Arena, then confidence will be up and that will give Beech something to work with.

When new bosses come in to a club, a lot of them say everyone will start from scratch, although a lot of them don’t necessarily mean it. If you look at the statistics, and see what people like Nathan Thomas can do, they have to start, don’t they? And the 25-year-old proved why at the weekend with his two goals.

But there are a lot of places in United’s team which are up for grabs, in my opinion.

Obviously, the goalkeeper’s spot isn’t. I think Adam Collin will be a shoo-in all season and, if he’s fit and firing, then Thomas is a shoo-in all season, too.

But there have been peaks and troughs from the rest throughout the course of this season so far.

I’m led to believe Beech is already having a few private conversations with players on the training ground, demanding a bit more from certain individuals.

At the end of the day, I’m not sure Pressley was truthful enough after games, when he was saying certain players had played really well when some had not.

I know, as a former player myself, players will look for anything.

If you provide a player with one positive from their performance, they will focus on that positive and try to build on that, rather than looking at how they can work on the negative aspects of their performance.

So, when we were getting beaten and Pressley was still coming out with positives, I think players were coming home and thinking they had put in a decent performance. But, sometimes, you do need someone to tell you that you haven’t done enough.

As for the performance of Thomas, who bagged a brace against Forest Green, I have always said he is a good player. He is a game changer.

Yes, he has been inconsistent so far this term, but he will be working under a new boss now. Pressley kept talking about him in a defensive role.

Yes, Thomas needs to do his job defensively but he should be judged on what he does at the other end of the pitch. Being singled out after matches on a couple of occasions didn’t help, either.

Sometimes, you need to make allowances for special players, whether you like it or not. Sometimes, managers need to let them get away with a little bit more.

Harry Redknapp used to do that. He said, when he was at Portsmouth and they were top of the league, that Paul Merson had told him he needed to go back to the Tony Adams clinic in the Bahamas. 

Redknapp knew about it. But he didn’t say anything until Portsmouth had won the league and Merson had scored another six or seven goals.

That’s good man-management.

Hopefully that's where, with Beech having previously been a first-team coach, he can have a bit more experience of how to make connections with certain players.

Being a coach would have helped to give him better people's skills but, now being a manager, it's also important to have those boundaries, too.

If Carlisle can get the better of Forest Green in their FA Cup second-round replay, they will face an away trip to take on Championship team Cardiff. Last night's draw should give United's players a little bit of extra incentive to get through into the next round.