Chris Beech says Carlisle United's improving form shows the benefit of not listening to "background noise".

The Blues are today hoping to enhance their start to the season by beating Colchester today (Brunton Park, 3pm) and moving into the top seven.

Eighth-placed Carlisle have picked up in recent weeks after a leaky start to the season.

Jon Mellish will also be hoping to score in his fourth straight game and keep up his own impressive recent form after coming in for criticism earlier in the campaign.

Asked if his and United's improvement showed the value of patience, head coach Beech said: "Pre-season was excellent, we had some strong performances in it.

"At the time, Ethan Walker’s not here, and other players I’ve not even thought about, but we were due to go with the players we’d signed - JJ Kayode, Omari Patrick and Brennan Dickenson would probably have started the season but were all injured.

"It makes things turn and adapt. But these things change.

"I suppose there’s a lesson in that. That's what football is. We all have opinions but sometimes you have to not listen to the background noise.

"There’s always pressure in certain situations but I don’t feel that. As long as we stick to the traits and values we’re trying to instil in the lads, it will look after us."

If midfielder Mellish finds the net he will become the first Blues player to score in four straight games since Jerry Yates in December 2018 - and the first midfielder to do so since Jamie Devitt in January-February of that year.

Beech said: "He was terrible on Thursday in training...

"That’s just Jon. He’s a north-east lad who trains well, runs hard, tackles and heads, has a rocket shot as you saw at Sunderland, and he’s been doing that in training regularly.

"He's just got to keep going. He knows he’s done nothing, really, in terms of what he’s trying to achieve - he has to keep striving forwards.

"I think other players have to look at that.

"In terms of fitness and cohesion, the players are starting to look more like what you would call a team."

Beech is pleased to have some of his injured players back, with Gime Toure and Gavin Reilly returning last weekend and Dean Furman also available after a recent problem.

It leaves Brennan Dickenson, Omari Patrick and Ethan Walker still on the sidelines from his senior ranks, but Beech said of his aim to have more options available: "It’s exciting - it’ll give us an even more competitive environment and I’ll have a completely different headache to the ones I’m having now.

"That’s the kind of situation you want because it breeds even more competition.

"We’re not quite there yet in terms of their rehab, but we’ll see.

"I have no doubt working here at Carlisle that something else will pop up, because it generally does. That means your masterplan is often nowhere near what you can go with."

Joshua Kayode and Marcus Dewhurst are available today after returning from international duty.