Chris Beech has made it clear that he wants Rhys Bennett to stay for the season, saying: He makes us better.

The Carlisle United head coach has been impressed with centre-half Bennett since he joined on a short-term deal.

The ex-Peterborough and Rochdale man produced another excellent display in the Blues’ FA Cup defeat to Doncaster on Sunday.

Bennett is currently with Carlisle until January.

Beech suggested it is inevitable that he will ask the club to try and extend the 29-year-old’s stay.

United’s boss said: “I want him to stay and I know he’s enjoying himself.

“It will be put on the club’s toes and we’ll have to try our best to service something if it makes us valuable and better.

“I think he does. So we’ll have to get to those conversations at the right moment in time.”

Bennett has made five appearances for the Cumbrians so far, scoring one goal, his arrival proving timely with fellow centre-half Rod McDonald currently out injured.

The ex-Mansfield man is set to face Salford tomorrow night as the Blues return to league action.

It follows Sunday’s 2-1 cup defeat which saw United edged out by League One Doncaster.

Bennett teamed up with Aaron Hayden at centre-half and Beech added: “Rhys has the physical capabilities that we see in Aaron, he also has the composure and the ability to read play, and play football as well – a good passer, drives into midfield.

“He’s an excellent acquisition. As we grow and he grows he’ll only get better, and within that, I’m sure we’ll end up to that point, as we near January, to try and retain his services.

“He said to me when I first got the job here – and I know things change – that if he was going to play in League Two, he’ll come and play for me.

“That’s just because of our relationship we had at Rochdale.”

McDonald remains on the sidelines although Beech does not expect the 28-year-old to be out for long despite suffering a groin strain in training just over a week ago.

“It’s grade two, so it’s not dead bad, nor a seven-dayer,” Beech said.

“It’s anything between a couple of weeks or so, depending on how well it heals.

“I’m hopeful of him picking it up next week and seeing where he is.”