'I would be offended if I’m not booed!' – Former Pools midfielder looks ahead to Victoria Park return with Carlisle United

Carlisle United manager Chris Beech knows all about receiving a frosty reception at Victoria Park.
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The 46-year-old played 104 times for Hartlepool United between 1996 and 1999, scoring 26 goals.

Now he’ll be returning as an opposition manager looking to continue Carlisle’s unbeaten start to the League Two campaign.

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Reflecting on his time at Pools, Beech told The News and Star: “I had a great time, scored some good goals, important goals…and it’s funny what happens in football.

Carlisle head coach Chris Beech  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Carlisle head coach Chris Beech  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Carlisle head coach Chris Beech (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

"If you’re a new player playing for Hartlepool, the trick is to make sure you start very well. I remember a few shouts, when I signed from Blackpool, of: ‘Beech…get back to Blackpool, you donkey’.

“As I turned round, I thought, ‘bloomin ‘eck’, these away fans are a bit rough – before I realised they were our [Hartlepool] fans!

“But I soon got to grips with that. I tried my best and hope I earned the right to have a bit of respect from them in the period I played for them.

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“It can be a cauldron of…information. Being Carlisle United’s manager, I would be offended if I’m not booed!”

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Beech is one of several connections between the two clubs going into this weekend’s clash. Former Poolies Lewis Alessandra and Gime Toure are expected to return to The Vic with Carlisle this weekend while Pools boast a number of ex-blues players themselves in Gary Liddle, Mark Cullen, Fela Olomola, Martin Smith and coach Antony Sweeney.

“[Hartlepool] will give us a very good [game], a very competitive one, a very energised one,” Beech added.

“Dave [Challinor] has had a set way of playing for quite some time, doesn’t deviate too much from it, the reason being he’s very successful from it.

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“A bit like ourselves I suppose in the summer, they tend to lose one or two what they would consider their better players. They did excellently in the loan market last season, I remember the Middlesbrough goalkeeper [Brad James] saving penalties, Luke Armstrong scoring goals.

“They’ve done great and have started really well too. We just have to make sure we look after ourselves – we’re Carlisle, we have to represent us against a good manager and a very good team.”

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