Chris Beech has explained why Carlisle United adopted a new system in order to confront Cheltenham's threats last night.

And the Blues boss also revealed why keeper Magnus Norman was handed a rare league start at the expense of regular No1 Paul Farman.

Beech deployed a 3-5-2 system against Michael Duff's side and the Blues' players performed well in the 1-1 draw.

The United head coach said his decision to play three centre-halves was based on his assessment of the opposition.

He said: “They [Cheltenham] have lost five games at home and four of those teams have played three at the back.

“They’re excellent at the long throws and corners, and excellent in how all three of their centre-halves regain and retain the ball.

“Normal centre-halves in League Two head it, kick it out of play, deal with the centre-forward. These guys head it and retain the header, and play from that point.

“It was important we didn’t allow that to happen, so we had to try and play two up top. But because they play three in midfield, it’s difficult to do that.

“But four of the five teams who’ve beaten them at home have played three at the back, so I looked at it from that perspective, looked at who’s available for us, looked at how it frees up Jack Armer and George Tanner [at wing-back], and tried to put them under severe pressure, which we did – and we deserved to win, but we haven’t.”

Asked if the way his side adapted to a new system was food for thought for the future, he said: “Maybe. Maybe not. I think people look into things too much.

“We’ve got one of the best home records for the way we play. Granted, I was disappointed with the first half against Harrogate, but we didn’t get any credit really for the change we made, me and Gav [Skelton] at half-time, but we have to try and make the change, because everybody’s chasing something that’s bigger.

“We needed to win the match, like we did [against Cheltenham], we deserved to win but didn’t get the winning goal.”

Beech said the extra height of Magnus Norman was the reason he gave the keeper only his third league start of the campaign.

“He [Norman] is good in the air, he’s bigger and Cheltenham have scored 12 goals from long throws, and I don’t know how many from corners,” the United boss said.

“It just gave us a bit more safety net aerially, because that’s what they’re like.

“And he [Norman] was excellent in his distribution and the same he made [from Matty Blair].”

Beech, meanwhile, felt Carlisle were “intelligent” in the way they limited Cheltenham’s well-established threats.

The Blues coped with most of what the promoted Robins threw at them in the 1-1 draw.

Carlisle came under pressure from Ben Tozer’s trademark long throws at times.

But United saw them off and then led through Joshua Kayode before Chris Hussey’s free-kick levelled.

On the way his team dealt with Michael Duff’s side, Beech said: “It’s tactical, it’s intelligent, it’s a difference, a way of dealing with the throw.

“A lot of teams have put too many players in the six-yard box…people don’t see these things.

“Aaron Hayden marks Ben Tozer on corners, he’s free then when he takes the long throw. A lot of teams are banked in six or seven players in the six-yard box.

“You might think it’s strange for Jon Mellish and JJ Kayode not to be involved in that. But by the crowding is how they score.

“Cheltenham have beaten us twice and we’ve drawn here. At home they beat us with an offside Reuben Reid goal [last season], beat us at home [this season] with a penalty that was a foul on Jon Mellish, and a long throw. And they’ve drawn here with a free-kick.

“It’s so important, set plays at our level, but we played the better football.”