Chris Beech feels referees need to show more protection to players as Carlisle United face an anxious wait on news of Callum Guy’s injury.

The midfielder was stretchered off during last night’s 1-0 defeat to Cheltenham.

January signing Guy was hurt in a challenge with the Robins’ Will Boyle in the 70th minute at Brunton Park.

It left Beech without another of his key players after Harry McKirdy was also sidelined by a challenge in the draw with Swindon at the weekend.

Speaking immediately after the game, United’s head coach said he was unsure of the severity of the injury. He said: “He [Guy] has not gone to hospital, the physio room door’s locked at the moment, I tried to knock on before I came to see to you [media] guys. They’re still in consultation, I’ll find out straight after this interview.”

There has not yet been any confirmation of Guy’s condition, United saying the injury is continuing to be assessed today and the player himself tweeting this morning: "Thank you for all the kind messages, fingers crossed it’s nothing too serious and I’ll be back on the pitch sooner rather than later."

United’s boss said more should be done to prevent the sort of injuries Carlisle have suffered recently.

He also described the challenge by Anthony Grant that sidelined McKirdy at the weekend as a “disgrace”.

Beech said: “I’ve seen that now in two home games, two poor tackles, two players injured that represent Carlisle.

“I did ask the referees’ boss – I rang him on Saturday night about the tackles on Harry.

“It’s important they look to protect players that want to play and run and do the right things in terms of playing football. That’s the referee’s job not mine.

“The lads put themselves in that arena, fair play, they give 100 per cent, put their bodies on the line – their lives on the line in a way – it’s their body and for them to go all in like they did, sometimes they do need a bit of protection.

“I think Callum’s just come off on a rough tackle. He could have pulled out, but he’s at home in front of his fans and he’s not gonna do that. He’s an honest lad, it’s why we signed him. I hope the news is good and not too bad.”

Beech said such challenges are viewed differently today than during his own playing days, and the situations should be managed accordingly.

He said: “What we used to do, 15 years ago, is go back at that, almost [with] two feet and that was allowed.

“If you’re gonna punish a player for protecting himself in a tackle, you must punish a player now for that type of tackle. In other words, it’s actually making honest players pull out of a tackle.

“Callum should have really pulled out, but because he’s an honest lad and wants to give 100 per cent, he’s in front of his own fans, he goes all in, while he’s on his feet. The other player goes to ground.

“In our day we can leave our leading leg higher than our lower leg, and it was a ‘well done’ off everybody.

“[Today] you’re basically saying to your player ‘don’t go in for it’ or sort of ride it, jump, or almost what we’d class in our schoolyard as ‘bottle it’. But you don’t want to coach that. The refs have to find that middle balance of that.”

On Boyle’s challenge, which was not penalised by ref Andy Haines, Beech added: “I’d have to look at it back, I wouldn’t want to comment on the Cheltenham player and get myself in trouble.

“It’s a tackle I’d want my player to make, though, in terms of winning the ball.”

Beech was, though, scathing about the challenge that saw McKirdy limp off before half-time against Swindon.

The Blues boss said: “I’ve seen this tackle back, and if I’m referring to Saturday’s game, the tackle on Harry McKirdy is an absolute disgrace.

“I’ve seen the slow motions and pictures of that. It was five yards in front of the referee. Things like that, it’s hard to stomach.”

He said it was important to express his views to the refereeing authorities

“One, Harry knows I care and it’s important we try and protect them,” he said.

“Two, I think it’s good that anybody in the game’s trying to improve it for the good of the game.

“It’s not to gain an advantage for us, it’s to say ‘let’s try and play on a level playing field’, that’s all you can ask.

“You can understand our fans’ frustrations with the officials. At the end of [last night’s] game I have 100 per cent sympathy with them for that one.

“I’m not gonna get myself in trouble. It’s part of football, sometimes you have to accept that, but from our perspective, to see two good football players not available to carry on in that game, and Harry on Saturday, is difficult to take when, can it be protected a little bit more?”

Beech said McKirdy should be back sooner than expected after treatment on his injury.

He said: “It’s a slight strain in his knee now. Hopefully it won’t be as long as we first thought.”

The latest problems add to an injury list which also sees striker Joshua Kayode sidelined with a muscle strain.

Beech was optimistic the Rotherham loanee will be back soon.

While not putting a timescale on his return, United’s boss said: “I just know that he’s young, he’s a good healer, and he’s already running, which is good news considering, and he’s getting top treatment at his club, and he’s possibly looking at having an injection to help speed it up.

“He wants to come back, absolutely loves playing for Carlisle – you could see it in the goal he scored at Mansfield. He’s desperate to get back.”

Midfielder Stefan Scougall, meanwhile, is ready to return after the injury he suffered in last week’s reserve game against Fleetwood.

Beech added: “Stefan was fit for [last night]. He trained on Monday – he actually got here late due to the fact it was so hard to get here, it was snowing in Scotland, but he did a little bit.

“I spoke to him, he was in the squad, [but] I just wanted extra forwards on the bench.”