Chris Beech says Carlisle United will advertise for a new head physio and insisted he does not have a particular individual in mind for the role.

The Blues are starting the process of finding a replacement for the long-serving Neil “Dolly” Dalton, who announced this week he is to leave the club.

Head coach Beech paid tribute to Dalton at his press conference today and conceded the popular Cumbrian would be a “big miss”.

Dalton has agreed to remain with the club until a replacement is found and will help director of football David Holdsworth with the recruitment process.

Beech said a new physio would need to show maximum commitment both to the role but the local area.

He said: “In my experience, whoever it may be, for them to do a really good job they have to make sure they’re Cumbrian-based or able to relocate.

“A lot of physio hours are outside the normal footballing ones. For example, this weekend we’re playing Saturday-Tuesday – there’s a massive energy going into the match and there’s always some collateral damage.

“It’s at that point where the physio really has to work hard, even though he’s done the football side of the day; it will include Sunday, and it will include Monday early doors before you’re reassessing what type of team or squad you can get ready for the Tuesday.

“Whoever it is has to make sure they’re as committed and commit time to that role.

“They’re all things we’ll put in place to make sure that whoever it is fulfils it.

“I’ve not actually got a name or a number in mind, and it’s quite right the club act correctly and open it out to everybody.”

Asked if he had been aware of Dalton’s impending decision to leave, Beech said: “No, not really…I think he might have toyed with the idea a couple of times in his long career, I have no doubt he’s had a knock on the door or a whisper in an ear every now and then, off other people, that’s what happens in football.

“For whatever reason [then] he decided to stay. For whatever reason he’s now decided to go.

“I have a great relationship with Dolly, I’m very thankful and I’ll support him in what he wants to try and achieve now, and I’m also thankful for what he’s done and continues to do today.”

Beech said United would miss Dalton’s “knowledge, intelligence and experience” as the physio prepares to end a 34-year association with his home-city club.

Dalton has not yet commented on his next move other than saying he was leaving for “a new challenge”.

The Blues boss added: “He’ll be a big loss to many people at the club.

“But sometimes, and I felt this a little bit, driving down the same motorway for 12 years to Rochdale, a change can invigorate, and maybe Neil was looking for that – you’d have to ask him.

“The club are advertising the role and it opens up some opportunities for other people to join us. We’ve got to try and get that right.

“It’s a big thing in football, that when you invest in players, it’s important they don’t spend time in the treatment room, because if you end up getting six or seven in there, and the squad’s small – a little bit like when we played Colchester first time round and we only had 15-16 fit pros – that’s a lot of wastage, loss, whatever words you want to say, when they’re not available to do their jobs.

“It’s important we get that right and important whoever it is works very hard with everybody else to make sure, like Neil did, that we have as many bodies as fit as possible for matchdays.”