Carlisle United boss Chris Beech today said the Blues are “active” in the market ahead of tomorrow’s transfer deadline.

The head coach said United have been talking to a number of players with a view to strengthening his squad.

Carlisle have until 5pm tomorrow to sign any further players, although could still move for free agents after that cut-off.

Beech said he had missed out on one possible target last night but other players remained in his sights ahead of this weekend’s home clash with Colchester.

He also said there could be one departure, with United hoping to secure a loan move for first-year pro Jamie Armstrong.

“We are active but we will see what happens,” Beech said.

“We’ve been talking to a lot of players, but these things have to come together from all different parties.

“I have to be very mindful, if we do [bring someone in], of getting the right player that supports the culture with the players that we’ve tried to create here, so we’ll see.

“We’ve had a few phonecalls in the last couple of days and there’s clubs offering players sometimes for minimal amounts, and then you’ve got out-of-contract players looking to gain a wage to pay mortgages that [cost] more than players you can get on loan.

“It just depends what happens, what fits, what characters they are, what they bring to the team and what we need. It’s just a complete balancing act. Sometimes [after] the one you feel is the right one, there’s always a late runner and that’s the way we should go.”

United were hit his week by the loss of Preston loan attacker Ethan Walker, who needs shoulder surgery and will be out for about three months.

Walker had himself been brought in after the loss to a hamstring injury of summer signing Brennan Dickenson until December.

Asked if that left-sided attacking position could again be a focus before the deadline for Beech and director of football David Holdsworth, the head coach said it was a situation that would need to be judged carefully.

He said: “Any manager will want to strengthen every area 100 per cent, and will always want more and better.

“You have to support what you go through with your decisions.

“We saw a massive lesson with Jon Mellish that we have to support certain things to say, ‘Go on then…’ – we have to do that with squad members we’ve taken on.

“We can’t keep taking on and replacing players and I don’t want to be somebody that stops growth in terms of opportunity from youth, because with the door always open, there’s great optimism within that rather than completely shutting it and we always want players we pay for – in my opinion that creates a sterile working environment.

“I think what will be strange this season more than any is once the deadline’s passed, the players scrambling, who haven’t got clubs attached, will still be available after that point, but of course they’re not match-fit or training regularly.

“It’s so different to normal circumstance that we need to look at all options and not panic."

On the possibility of departures, meanwhile, Beech said these would be minimal.

He said: “I had a conversation with Jamie Armstrong the other day – he’s a young pro and isn’t getting any football in terms of Saturdays at the moment.

“But in terms of anybody else I would suggest not.

“Last Saturday against Port Vale, there was only Jamie and Taylor Charters [not involved] – Taylor came with us but didn't make the bench.

“Our numbers aren’t big enough to start moving out players.”

United already have a number of their other teenage players out on loan with Liam Lightfoot, Charlie Birch and Charlie Barnes currently with Kendal and Isaac Robinson at Workington.

Beech should be boosted, though, by the return of Joshua Kayode and Marcus Dewhurst from international duty with both men back at Brunton Park today.

Keeper Dewhurst played 45 minutes for England Under-20s against Wales on Tuesday while striker Kayode was an unused sub for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s in Italy.