Chris Beech says a conversation with England boss Gareth Southgate has helped underline why Carlisle United are focusing on the quality of their set-pieces.

The Blues have increased their dead-ball threat in recent games with a number of goals coming from Elliot Watt’s deliveries.

Last weekend’s equaliser at Mansfield came when Joshua Kayode headed in a Watt free-kick, while his corners and free-kicks also led to goals against Walsall and Forest Green.

They will hope to make the most of any such opportunities against League Two leaders Swindon today.

United head coach Beech said he has discussed the importance of set-piece preparation with national team boss Southgate.

He said: “I went to a CPD [continuous professional development] day at St George’s Park and asked Gareth Southgate how long you spend [on them].

“They’ve got all these words, like ‘matchday minus two’, which I think means two days before a game...

“He did say that they do tend to spend quite a bit of time [on set-pieces]; he’s been naming his team quite early to make sure the players are doing it, know who it is, and they can practice.

“He knows how vital they are in tight matches. If our national side are doing it, why can’t we?”

On United’s better set-pieces of late, Beech added in his pre-match press conference: “It’s the players delivering, the commitment to getting on the end of things.

“They [set-pieces] were so vital in the Champions League, never mind League Two, last season. And in world football. You should spend time on them.”