Chris Beech believes his Carlisle United team need to be less “naïve” in order to be a side that can go the distance in a promotion fight.

While the Blues’ boss has this week spoken of his pride in his players’ efforts despite the play-offs now being realistically out of reach, he feels there are areas they can improve.

One such department, he says, was highlighted by the first team to be promoted from League Two this season – Tuesday’s opponents Cheltenham.

Beech said the Robins, whose 1-1 draw with United confirmed their rise to League One, have a number of streetwise players who can manage difficult games.

Ahead of Carlisle’s penultimate match of the season at Leyton Orient tomorrow (Breyer Group Stadium, 3pm), Beech said his own side can add that to their game.

“Cheltenham are very consistent because they’ve got a lot of players who have been there and done it before,” he said.

“They know how to drag a game down and take it up.

“We’re good at trying to do what we want to do, but we need to lessen the naivety and learn from it.”

United are six points outside the top seven and would also need a huge goal difference swing over the final 180 minutes of the season to sneak into the play-offs.

The chances are extremely remote, although Beech said the Blues will approach their last two games determined to get a maximum return.

A run of six without a win has ultimately cost the Cumbrians, while some fans have called for fringe players to be given their chance now promotion is realistically off the agenda.

Cedwyn Scott, the striker whose five sub appearances have amounted to about 20 minutes of first-team action since his January move from Hebburn Town, is one man some supporters would like to see given more time on the pitch to try and impress.

Young home-grown Cumbrian midfielder Taylor Charters is another aspiring player who could be eyeing greater involvement in United’s last two games.

Beech has so far not been drawn on whether he could mix things up for 10th-placed Carlisle’s last two fixtures.

He said: “I’ll try and get us to represent the last two games right because we do deserve more points on the board.”

United are assessing the fitness of Rhys Bennett after he was injured in the first half at Cheltenham, while fellow centre-half Rod McDonald is yet to return from a dead leg.

Beech, meanwhile, said the standard of Carlisle’s display on Tuesday night is something they must try to maintain, after a season which brought table-topping form before a slide down the league after a Covid-19 and postponement-enforced lay-off.

“We deserve to still be in the fight and we aren’t,” he said.

“All of the lads have had a little dip after the break at the start of the year – some people have recognised that, some people see it as an excuse and some people say we just need to get on with it, but it happened.

“I’m pleased with the standards we played at [on Tuesday], and we have to progress that now and be consistent.”

Orient are 11th, a point behind the Blues and mathematically unable to reach the play-offs.