They’ve kept us dangling for a while, but Carlisle United’s chances of making the play-offs finally ended at Cheltenham on Tuesday night.

Chris Beech will be looking to get as much as he can from the last two games, at Orient today and home to Walsall next Saturday. In his first full season as a head coach, he’ll be wanting to look back and say he only just missed out on the play-offs, not that he finished 14th. The last two games won’t be meaningless to him.

On the whole I think he’s done very well if you look at where the club was when he took over. He’s improved the team and the squad, and not on one of the division’s biggest budgets.

Beech will probably use this weekend and next Saturday to blood one or two of the young lads. There’s always something to take from games.

Players don’t like admitting it. But I’ve played in end of season games when there wasn’t a lot of urgency. It’s not deliberate, it’s just what can happen when you know you’re not going up or down. The fact that we don’t have as many games like that now is thanks to the play-offs. When you were only aiming for the top three or four instead of the top six or seven, you used to know your fate a month or so before teams know it now.

If Carlisle only had the top four to aim at this year, realistically their season would have been over in March instead of the end of April.

Next week is the first since early February that Carlisle won’t have a midweek match. They’ve played 11 Tuesday nights in a row. That’s bound to have an impact, especially when you throw in all the travelling. Just this week there’s a 500-mile round trip to Cheltenham and a 600-mile round trip to London. That tires you mentally more than physically. It does catch up with you. Then there’s the games they’ve travelled to that have been abandoned or postponed.

Disappointing as it’s been since the turn of the year, I think the club is in the best position it’s been for quite a few seasons. They’ve extended the contracts of Aaron Hayden, Callum Guy, Lewis Alessandra, Jack Armer, Joe Riley, Josh Dixon and Taylor Charters, with hopefully more key players still to be kept on.

We’re not looking for 10 or 14 players this year, we’re just looking to add to what we’ve got.

With all the talk of a European Super League last week there wasn’t room to mention Jose Mourinho leaving Spurs. When he first came to Chelsea, Mourinho was a breath of fresh air. He seems more doom and gloom now.

He seems to have had a lot of clashes with players at Man United and Tottenham.

Players are harder to manage these days. You can’t give them the hairdryer treatment anymore, and in the Premier League they see their agent as their manager. That’s something else for managers to contend with.

After his sacking was announced, Mourinho seemed upbeat. The demands of the big clubs are constant. Being an international manager could suit him better.