Chris Beech says Carlisle United have worked hard to eradicate some of the flaws that cost them when they last faced Colchester.

The Essex side beat United 3-0 in their previous meeting in December.

That came in Beech’s fifth game in charge, since when he has overhauled the team and squad.

Ahead of tomorrow’s rematch at Brunton Park, the Blues head coach said that game highlighted certain problems he has since tried to tackle.

He said: “The goals Carlisle conceded before I came…I don’t want to ever critique the past because it’s the wrong thing to do as a professional, but we were definitely conceding too many goals from full-back situations.

“[When you talk about football] when you concede, it’s generally [said to be] a centre-half or goalkeeper’s fault. But there’s a lot of factors to why it ends up at that point.

“We were conceding a lot of goals, because we weren’t winning the ball back high enough or quick enough, the full-backs weren’t being strong enough on one-v-ones and stopping crosses, and ultimately it ends up with a centre-half or goalkeeper type mistake and the goal’s conceded.

“We’ve worked very hard to try and take that away from the front door and will continue to do that for the rest of the season.

“Those factors came in to that Colchester game and the personnel playing in that game…don’t play that regularly [now], and some have left.”

Although less than three months ago, United’s side tomorrow will be much-changed from the defeat in Essex which led captain Adam Collin to suggest some team-mates needed “a wake-up call”.

That game proved Christie Elliott’s last for the club before his January departure, while Nathaniel Knight-Percival has not figured under Beech since.

Hallam Hope, another starter that day, has since been sold while Stefan Scougall has not been included in United’s last two 18-man squads.

Carlisle made eight January signings, five players departing in the same month, whilst also extending the contracts of two key players.

Their form has improved recently with Beech’s fifth-bottom side having lost one in nine. He added: “It’s building blocks; the standards we’re trying to achieve.

“The biggest thing for me was the fact we had 15-16 fit pros available [at Colchester] and the fact we’ve since been able to change the team.

“We had 16 transactions in January, which is massive, one every other day, including the re-engagement of Aaron [Hayden] and Gethin [Jones], recruiting permanent players for longer contracts.

“[We also had] players trying to leave, players who’ve been invested in for loans for the full season and their own clubs don’t want them back. Imagine that – it’s almost like having last year’s stock in the shop you’re trying to sell and nobody wants it.

“That’s a shame but it’s the truth, we can’t avoid the truth, we have to try and address it and make it better, that’s what we’ve done but we have to keep doing that.

“Everybody who’s locked in from the end of January has every opportunity to play for us before the end of the season. They’ve got to approach their opportunities like that.”

Colchester, in eighth, are trying to keep their promotion hopes alive.

John McGreal’s men, a point outside the play-off places, are in inconsistent form having won two and lost four of their last six games.

Beech said: “I think they’re a wounded animal that is obviously resetting and looking at the last 10 games’ run-in.

“I’ve been reading the manager’s comments and he’s backing the squad that’s done well this season. They’re in the last quarter, last phase of the season, with 10 games left, he’s challenged them to see what they can do.

“Like I said last week, it’s the integral and important part of the season now for promotion and relegation. Colchester see themselves in that position right now.

“They’re a possession-based team, they’ve got a great midfield, a great height and long throws.

“If you remember [in December], we had [Ryan] Lofty marking Harry Pell, [who] won every header. They’re a big team, big centre-halves, big midfield players, a strong centre-forward [Luke Norris] who’s muscular and robust with some pace in Theo [Robinson].

“They’ve got people that can run with the ball, [like Callum] Harriott, they can score, dip, shoot, score from anything from 35 yards towards your goal.

“They’re a potent team that are resetting for the last 10 games and they’ll look at this as an opportunity to get that right from their perspective.

“I’ll mention it to the boys but we have to make sure we’re right at it. In the games we’ve lost, even the Colchester and Plymouth fixtures [both 3-0 defeats], we were very much in the match until that goal goes in. At that point, the lads folded.

“I don’t want to see that tomorrow, but they pose a massive threat. It will be interesting to see where they are, but really I’m only interested in what looks after us.”

Beech saw his side score the opening goal for the first time in six games at Cambridge last weekend.

That coincided with United’s first win in the same period and the head coach underlined the importance of making a good start – and also being ruthless in the penalty area.

“A lot of stats will back that fact up – if you get the first goal, I don’t know percentage wise but you have a massive percentage opportunity of wining or at least getting a point out of the game,” he said.

“I’ve been pleased with the characteristics of the team, but it was nice to get our noses in front [at Cambridge] and then back it up.

“With a bit more cleaner work, that could have been another massive away result, like the Forest Green one. It could have turned into four before it became 2-1.

“That’s what I want us to try and get into those habits and traits of doing.”

At his press conference, meanwhile, Beech said United were now able to use an area of their training pitch with the facility having been out of use in recent weeks after it was flooded during Storm Ciara.

He said: “There’s only a corner we can use today. We’re warming up on the bank, because that drains really well – the actual flood bank.

“We’re gonna do some ball work, then we’re splitting up; the lads who aren’t starting will go in the Neil Centre, and the lads who are will go on the pitch for 20 minutes, for a bit of a run through and then to practice set plays, because they’re vital.”