Carlisle United are still expected to tie up a loan return for Preston attacker Ethan Walker - but Blues boss Chris Beech said his defensive recruitment is complete.

This week's signing of Morgan Feeney increased the competition for places at the back.

While there could be a departure from the United squad soon, right-back George Tanner's good progress in his recovery from a shoulder injury has led head coach Beech to play down the idea of bringing in further cover.

On his defensive numbers, the United head coach said: "I think signing Morgan, and the players we have, I think we have the capabilities to make sure we have adaptability in the squad to make sure others can play.

"Jack Armer has played right-back, Joe Riley can play right-back, Jon Mellish can play centre-back, Nick Anderton can play left-back/centre-half, Aaron Hayden can play centre-back/right-back, Brennan Dickenson could play full-back...

"There’s loads of permutations. I don’t think we’d be looking to bring a player in unless something else happens because I’m really pleased with George’s progress - he’s not too far away."

Tanner has been out since mid-December after an operation on his collarbone, having suffered the injury in United's 4-0 win over Stevenage.

Beech said the former Manchester United right-back is continuing to recover well even though he has been away from the club this week as part of United's Covid shutdown.

"George is doing great but, like the fit players, the injured players have still had to stay away from the club," the head coach said.

"But I know he’s the type of lad to 100 per cent keep his rehab up and work really hard.

"All he’s going to try and do is get full range of movement, confidence in the arm and [get] the shoulder a little bit stronger.

"He’s fortunate it’s an upper-body injury, in it not affecting his legs, etc - his power, speed and capabilities will still be there - but of course he has to make sure he can use those arms.

"As a defender, arms are very important. George has to make sure his arm’s good, and he’s well on his way to making it feel great."

Beech said this week there was a "massive possibility" of Walker returning for a second loan stint from Preston, with clubs and player understood to be keen on the deal.