Chris Beech says Carlisle United must be ready for two former players who will be out to impress against the Blues this weekend.

Tomorrow’s hosts Scunthorpe are likely to field ex-Blues frontman Ryan Loft and fellow former loanee Alex Gilliead in the League Two clash.

Loft joined the Iron on a two-year deal this summer after spending last season on loan with the Cumbrians from Leicester.

The 23-year-old has already scored twice for his new club and head coach Beech expects Loft will be desperate to notch against Carlisle.

“Ryan did ring me in the summer, [after being] here on loan,” Beech said of a player who scored six goals in 35 Blues appearances, including one against tomorrow's hosts.

“Things change, as this club grows…but he’ll be 100 per cent wanting to score against Carlisle.

“We’ve got to make sure that, if he’s playing, he doesn’t, but he might do – and if he does we need to score two.

“Lofty was a good lad, a young lad trying to find his way, supported by coming through big systems at Tottenham and Leicester. This was a real eye-opener to real football for him.

“Not getting something quickly in the summer, he’s probably very thankful he’s got a two-year contract at Scunthorpe and I have no doubt that might give him more bite and energy to do well, because if not he’d be still on the shelf now looking for a club.

“In terms of playing against him, we know he’s physical, and he’s got a strange style in being a scorer of great goals when not expected. He’s already done that for Scunthorpe. 

“He’ll want to get goals which he can do on his day, and on other days he doesn’t. That’s the way he is. I think of number 9s in a similar way to goalkeepers in terms of getting better as they get older. Lofty has got great potential, probably more than the Carlisle fans think. 

“You’ve just got to try and keep the ball away from goal, and keep the ball off him. They’ve got outstanding players in different positions that can support him.”

Another key man for the Iron will be 24-year-old captain Gilliead, who played 41 games for Carlisle under Keith Curle in 2015/16, scoring five goals during a loan stint from Newcastle.

“Gilliead has been here as a young player, he’s been very good in Leagues One and Two, he’s captain of the team now and is playing more of a central role now in midfield,” Beech said.

“He’s got great technique and is a good age now to make difference in League Two. We have to be mindful of the other good players they’ve got.”

Their other ex-Carlisle man, striker Olufela Olomola, is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Scunthorpe are awaiting their first win of the league season after a draw with Newport and a defeat at Crawley.

The Glanford Park club are under the management of Neil Cox after he succeeded Paul Hurst.

Beech added: “He’s been about football for a long time. He was a great player and a great assistant manager. It’s now his time to have a go himself so I’m sure he’ll want to put his mark on the club.

“He’ll get his players ready and I’m sure he’ll look at a home game against Carlisle and think, as Scunthorpe’s manager, that he’s got a chance and he quite fancies it. But I’m manager of Carlisle and I’m thinking I quite fancy it as well.”