Carlisle United boss Chris Beech says Carlisle United are considering investing in new equipment which could help guard against a glut of injuries like those the Blues are currently suffering.

Beech is likely to be without a host of attacking players for this weekend’s trip to Port Vale.

It has been an injury-hit start to the season which Beech has put down in part to the unusual schedule required of clubs since emerging from the Covid-19 lockdown.

The United boss has insisted he and his staff are doing their utmost to prepare players carefully whilst getting them ready for the demands of regular action.

But he said the recent spate of sidelined players has been discussed at Brunton Park.

“We have looked into it - we have had a meeting with David [Holdsworth, director of football] about it, and we’ve looked at investing into some sort of equipment that can test the strength of hamstrings, because the game gets faster, it doesn’t get slower.

“Maybe that might have helped if we'd had that in the first place but maybe it wouldn’t, you just don’t know.

“Hindsight’s brilliant. We’re doing what I think we should be doing currently, which is outrunning teams. We got 112km against Sunderland, 113km against Southend. Last year it was anything from 95km to 103km as a team.

“To get to that level you have to train at certain levels. If you don’t, you might not give yourself opportunity to win games. It’s a difficult balance.

“We’ve done no double days or sand dune runs. We’ve just stuck to getting right, getting fit, playing football, training with intensity but not for too long.

“These things have happened. I know teams who’ve done it the opposite way, and they’ve had issues too.”

Beech said United would “maybe” have certain individuals back for Saturday’s game but currently it was “more no than yes” on their prospects of being involved.

Gime Toure, Gavin Reilly and Ethan Walker are the latest players to be sidelined, joining Dean Furman, Omari Patrick and Brennan Dickenson out of action, with Joshua Kayode currently away on international duty.

Beech said midfielder Furman was “nearer fitness” while Toure (dead leg) and Reilly (hamstring) were being assessed.

“Gav was a real strange one – he came on [against Barrow] and got a knock, I was seeing if he was ok, stretching off his hamstring.

“He’s gone through some processes this week with the physio.

“It’s Thursday today, and he’ll see it as a big opportunity for him with JJ going away on international duty.”

Walker, meanwhile, is recovering from the shoulder injury which forced him to be substituted in Tuesday’s first half against Sunderland in the EFL Trophy.

Beech added: “I was really frustrated with that. He got away from his opponent and he had his arm basically pulled…it popped out of the socket a little bit.

“As he loosened up from that he went straight into a strong tackle that was above ankle, and landed.

“He’s going through the processes and has been in this morning. He had an x-ray, which was good, but he’s had this problem in the past as a young schoolboy.

“As long as he recovers well he might be able to be available, but we won’t know that until we can get him on the training ground to see.”

Patrick remains out with Beech not giving details on when the frontman could be back.

The United boss added: “I’ve done this with the physio to stick up in the room – next to the players’ names, we’ve got an optimistic date, a realistic date and I won’t tell you what the last section’s called…

“We’ve put the games in perspective onto the boards – again, can we beat specialists, and rehab, can we do everything we can?

“I know the players are. It’s not like we’ve got a lazy changing room that’s taking liberties. They’re all keen as mustard to get on the pitch.

“Omari’s original timeframe, he’s within that but we don’t know how these things go until you get up to 90-95 per cent of sprinting pace.”

Asked if United’s attacking crisis could lead the Blues back into the market, Beech said it required a careful approach ahead of the October 16 transfer deadline.

He said: “The perfect scenario is to have a front three playing and a front three change. We’ve got that providing everybody’s fit.

“It would help if we knew there was 10,000 people in the stadium on Saturday, because tickets sold, pies bought, programmes sold, probably more shirts sold…it’s a business isn’t it?

“All our recruitment, like with Connor Malley, is financially really sound, which has enabled us to have numbers. Thankfully we have. We’ve got a team to put out every week. In the current circumstance you would like another one but at some point you can’t keep saying that.

“I’ve got one loan left, and I’ve spoken at length with David…it’s more through injury than anything, and what’s frustrating is we’re loaded with players at the front end who aren’t currently available.

“To get another one, you know how sod’s law works – as soon as you do that you’ll probably end up with some defensive type situation.

“I’ve got to take it right to the wire and see what happens.”

Beech is adamant the current schedule is affecting the fitness of players at many clubs, with this Saturday’s opponents also seeing some players sidelined.

He added: “I noticed David Amoo came off for Port Vale seven minutes in [on Tuesday], he’s had his hamstring issues, along with other players.

“I just think it’s down to the fact we’ve all had to go through this really long time of not playing, a strange pre-season to try and make it as normal as possible, and straight into competitive football.

“Unfortunately for us it’s been more the attacking area rather than spread out amongst the whole squad. But it is what it is.”

United, meanwhile, have confirmed their trip to Oldham on Tuesday, October 20 will now kick off at 7pm after discussions between the clubs.

The league fixture had originally been scheduled for 7.45pm.

It is the latest of a number of behind-closed-doors fixtures to be moved to an earlier time in league and cup competitions this season.