Chris Beech says Carlisle United will be taking on a League One side in all but name when they confront Swindon tomorrow.

The League Two leaders, who will include ex-Blues frontmen Hallam Hope and Jerry Yates, will pose a serious threat to United’s four-game unbeaten run.

Improving Carlisle are hoping for a win that would go down as their best league result of the campaign.

Beech said the game will be a good measurement of their recent progress – against a side whose resources far outstrip United’s.

Beech said “Swindon have got some outstanding individuals that really should be – and they’re hopeful of – playing League One football.

“They’re League One players on League One budgets.”

Beech said that, to illustrate his point, he had lost out to the Robins when trying to sign certain players.

He added: “All the pressure’s obviously on Swindon.

“I know managers will play it down but they have got a massive budget, because I do know of some of the players they’ve recruited – I did have a little knock on the door myself and didn’t get them.”

Swindon’s January signings, as well as Hope from Carlisle and Yates’ return from Rotherham, included a six-figure deal to bring back leading scorer Eoin Doyle on a permanent move from Bradford.

Richie Wellens also made midfielder Anthony Grant’s loan move from Shrewsbury permanent, additionally bringing in Rotherham midfielder Matty Palmer and Leicester loan forward Admiral Muskwe.

United, though, have also been boosted by own their recent transfer activity with eight new faces joining in January, five leaving Brunton Park.

Beech, who is likely to include Omari Patrick in the squad for the first time, admits the game is a big challenge – but one players and fans should relish.

He said: “They [Swindon] are very good at what they do and we have to be very good at what we do to get something out of it.

“I think supporters are vital in any occasion. It helps set a good mood, a positive mood.

“I think we have a responsibility to make sure they have something to chew on and shout about; as a supporter, if you look in a dictionary, define ‘supporter’, the word, that’s to give somebody else your best wishes and your will and your help and support.

“That’s something they can give us. It’s a two-way street.”

United have taken eight points from their last four games but Beech warned against any complacency as a result of this improving form.

He said: “It’s been really good - but I’m very wary of the fact that when we have played teams at the top of the league we’ve had our fingers burned, [even] in moments when we’ve looked strong and solid in terms of not conceding. We have at times struggled against those stronger teams.

“Swindon are strong and they’ll deal with their setbacks in games with confidence. When you’re lower in the table, sometimes those punches affect you more.

“The pressure is really on them to make sure they can back up their investment and get promoted. On us is the challenge to say ok, we’re taking on the best in the league.

“We’ve not done too clever against Crewe, Plymouth and Colchester, but we did do excellent and scored five in two games against Cardiff.

“We’re scoring a few goals in the league now, a lot in the FA Cup run, managed some clean sheets in between – it would be nice to get some clean sheets and score goals and beat everybody from now to the end of the season, but we know football doesn’t work like that.

“I just think it’s a great opportunity for the players to say, ok, we’re taking on the best, let’s have a look.”

Free-scoring Doyle will be a major threat tomorrow, the Swindon striker having scored 23 goals already this season.

Beech, though, admitted Wellens’ side have quality all over the pitch - and were also clever in influencing officials.

He said: “It’s no bigger challenge than taking on some other teams in the league in terms of your preparation.

“You do individualise certain elements, because you respect them, and recognise certain individuals doing very well – Doyle, Yates etc, and they’re backed up though very well, Grant and [Michael] Doherty are very good midfield players with a good balance between them.

“They’re backed up with a right-footed left-back [Rob Hunt] and [Paul] Caddis with his experience. People would think, ‘We can get at him, run at him, he’s getting old’ but it doesn’t work like that, they use their bodies well, get help off the linesmen and referees, talk them in, almost referee the games – young referees get sucked into the way they go about that, they’re very clever.

“We have to be at our best to make sure we can compete, protect our point that we’ve been given before the game starts and turn it into three.”

On combating Doyle, as well as the ex-Blues pair of Yates and Hope, Beech added: “I’ve got ideas, and spoken to the lads about it, on how we can try and combat their strengths.

“With the number of goals he [Doyle] has scored, he’s almost guaranteeing his manager a goal. So what a great place to be for Richie. But we’ve got to do our best to make sure he doesn’t get it.”

Hope has scored two in three outings for Swindon, having netted three in 30 for United this season.

Beech said: “It happens sometimes. I can only thank Hallam for his commitment for the 12 games he played for me in terms of what he did and how he went about his business. He helped us stop losing, he helped us to be more competitive, and helped us start to win games.”

United’s boss said he wants to make the most of Patrick’s potential having secured the pacy frontman on an 18-month deal.

The ex-Bradford man scored for the reserves on Tuesday.

Beech said: “He’s got a good personality. I want to challenge him to be more consistent in his football.

“He’s got good attributes to try and utilise, and he has to understand them.

“He did excellent for Wrexham, hence why in terms of availability for me – yeah, we’ll try and do something about this.

“I’m looking forward to him doing the same things for Carlisle.”