Chris Beech said Callum Guy surprised him with aspects of his outstanding performance for Carlisle United against Colchester.

The midfielder put in arguably his best display for the Cumbrians in the 3-2 victory at Brunton Park.

It saw Guy impose himself on the contest in his eighth appearance of the campaign – a run of games the 23-year-old needed after the knee injury that curtailed his 2019/20 campaign in February shortly after his move to United from Blackpool.

Impressed Blues boss Beech said: “He was something I didn’t think he was [on Saturday], which was physically, ‘This is my pitch. I own this pitch’.

“He played like that. He was strong on every transition of play and he stopped some very potent, quick, agile players getting in their flow.

“Every split ball in that first half he was on it like I don’t know what. I didn’t realise he was that good at getting the ball back. He was very, very strong.

“He was brilliant. Really good.”

Beech was also impressed with the defensive display of experienced Rod McDonald.

The head coach said McDonald’s progress with United in recent games is an example of the physical development he is seeking from his players.

“We’ve spoken to Rod, we’ve had good conversations with him,” said United’s boss, who added that McDonald was doing extra work with fitness coach Greg Short after Saturday’s victory.

“I want him to be in the best physical condition he’s ever been in.

“He’s strong and people say he’s big, but he’s not – his body fat is good.

“But I want my players to look like Premier League players because when you get up close to them, they’re refined.

“A lot of that is through natural genetics but I want my players to try to get there.

“Rod didn’t get done down any channels, and that’s even though they have some very good and quick individuals.

“He’s starting to use his body better and he’s got a great left foot. He’s definitely starting to defend better.”

Beech also paid tribute to the quality of United’s pitch after they maintained their 100 per cent league record at Brunton Park this season.

The Blues boss said: “Dave Mitchell [United’s head groundsman] does a great job on the pitch.

“We know what pitch we’re gonna play on because he’s consistent, and then we try and play our best on it.

“We make mistakes, but everybody makes mistakes, it’s your reaction to the mistake that determines what will happen. But the players are representing well.”