Chris Beech has denied tomorrow's clash with Grimsby is a six-pointer – but admitted Carlisle United cannot take the sinking Mariners for granted.

The Blues have the chance to leapfrog their managerless visitors and give themselves a pre-Christmas boost in the League Two survival fight this weekend.

Third-bottom United are level on points with Grimsby, who are winless in 11 in all competitions, and the game represents a big opportunity to climb the table.

Beech, though, played down the idea it was a “six-pointer”. He said: “People like to put things in boxes, I would suggest not, because there’s so many league games left.

“It’s one of plenty. We’ve got to make sure we surpass 10 wins as fast as possible. [Hopefully] this is one of them.

“If it’s not, I understand there are reactions to things, but really, if you can pull back a little bit, no, it’s not [a six-pointer].

“But it is vital we represent our standards and community, because it looks after our habits and hopefully our outcomes.”

Beech is having Byron Webster assessed ahead of the game after the centre-half came off injured against Forest Green.

Fit-again Jon Mellish would be an option to replace him after he returned to training from a dead leg. Nathaniel Knight-Percival would also be pushing for a recall if Webster misses out.

Grimsby, under interim boss Anthony Limbrick, have not won since September but Beech said United must be ready for a tough encounter.

“They’re gonna respond, because they got beaten 3-0 [by Swindon in their last game].

“Morecambe responded [against us], because they got beaten 5-0.

“Sometimes you’re better meeting that team before they’ve had that result. People think, because they’ve had that result, playing you next is easier – it’s often not. I understand that football gods work in mysterious ways.

“There are absolutely no guarantees and we’ve got to be right on point to make sure we become a winning team against them.

“They have got some fantastic, experienced football players, they are going to bounce back somewhere, and we’ve got to make sure it’s not us.”

Beech has started his Blues reign with two draws and a win and while this has been a solid foundation, he admitted there is plenty of work ahead.

The head coach said: “It’s positive, but ultimately we’ve not really done anything yet. All we are, really, is at the start line. I want to make sure we keep running hard. I want to see that honest mile in the lads, because I know people can relate to that.

“Even if we don’t get the outcome we wish, three points, if we’re doing everything we possibly can to affect that, I think we’ll get respect.”

Limbrick, who could be without ex-United loanee Jordan Cook, says plenty is riding on tomorrow's game.

He said: “Carlisle have got some good players and they’re near us in the table, so it’s a big game for both sides.

“To be able to play a team which is around us is hopefully a good thing, and we’ll try and prey on that fact and hopefully it works out for us.

“But you can’t guarantee that it will be an easier game because it certainly won’t be – we’re away from home, their pitch is big, and they’ve just had a good win midweek against Forest Green Rovers in the FA Cup.”