"We have all got fingers crossed, and the work has been done, it is just about what happens out there now"

United media officer and first team kitman Andy Hall (AH) spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria's James Phillips (JP) this evening ahead of Carlisle's League One game away to Stevenage, Hall first talking about the Blues defeating Aldershot Town on penalties in the semi-finals of the Nationwide Conference play-offs in early May 2005 :

 

JP

Listening to that Aldershot Town commentary, what sort of moments does it conjure?

AH

Well, I was working part-time for the club back then, it was an unbelievable night. The significance of getting out at the first attempt, we all knew how massive it was and so much effort had gone into it. We had had a horrible run where I think people were actually asking for Simmo's (Paul Simpson's) head at one point, the fans were booing him and wanting him sacked. But, everybody stood by everything that the team believed they were doing, the manager believed they were doing and it came good, and it culminated in that moment for Danny (Livesey) with his penalty.

Just watching Danny warm up now, for him to have been at the club for that long, and Peter Murphy is out there with him, the history that those two lads have got associated with the club and the moments they have been involved with........ But, when that penalty hit the back of the net I am sure there were a lot of listeners who were the same as me, there are tears in your eyes and a lump in your throat. Even now you can feel the hairs tingling because they are defining moments for the football club.

 

 

JP

Wonderful wasn't he Derek Lacey, absolutely brilliant stuff, it was a great pleasure spending time with him as it was for all of you guys of course listening as well. Jack Baker has been in touch on twitter and he says it is a massive game tonight, Come On You Blues. Everything crossed for a lot of people listening in all over the world this evening and it is one of those games, it is absolute do or die for Stevenage and it is not too far off for Carlisle United either?

AH

Ah, it is important isn't it, if you win tonight you are not mathematically, but you effectively put Stevenage out of the equation, so that is one less team that you are chasing with. If you get a point you will probably go away feeling, well it depends how you do it, if they come and bully us and try to play the physical game then we will have to match that, and if you go away with something then you are pleased about it.

But, let's make no bones about it, these lads want to win, the whole focus yesterday in training was that the Charlton disappointment was washed away. There were smiles and laughs and determination to try to get the three points because we know that if you get it tonight then there is a big one on Saturday, and then the two games that follow you would expect to get something from, so it is in our hands right now.

 

 

JP

The great news is an unchanged starting eleven from the weekend, which means very good news on Jordan Cook?

AH

Yeah, a very quick recovery from the lad, I think he just needed a rest, it was his first full 90 minute run-around as it would have been and he gave everything didn't he. He was absolutely covering every blade of grass in their half, the opposition half, so credit to him for that. But, the rest at the weekend did him the world of good, we expected him to do half the training session and he did the full thing, as is Jordan's want. You can see him again running around right in front of us now and he is just ready to go, and hopefully he will carry on from where he left off at the end of the last loan spell and start banging the goals in.

 

 

JP

Also one of my favourite quotes from Greg (Abbott's) vey passionate interview after the weekend was that Charlton can't get Paul Hayes on their bench with all the money and quality he is, we have got Mark Beck on £50 a week trying to win us the game against the best team in the league. But, I bet he will have enjoyed his trip down here?

AH

Aye, he will have done yeah, he is a great lad as well is Mark Beck, he has worked hard for this, he has still got a decision to be made on him, that is the strange situation that he is in. He is a second year youth team player who doesn't yet know whether he is getting a professional contract. But, working the way he has with the first team isn't going to do him any harm in those stakes whatsoever. I just think everybody was the same, he got a volley on Saturday that I am sure you will remember, I swear that was going in you know, if that lad (Michael Morrison) hadn't got in the way of it then what a dream start to his career that would have been.

 

 

JP

Imagine hey, you will have to fill us in on something, Chris Lumsdon has talked about what it is like being the youngster on the team bus, you are on the man on the team bus for us, did he get made to do every single task on that bus today or on the way all the way down?

AH

I have never had as many brews in my life, let's put it that way.

 

 

JP

Has everyone been abusing then Mark Beck? The poor young lad on the bus?

AH

To be fair it is not as bad as I think it might have been once upon a time. There has to be that element of respect, you have got to learn your trade, you have got to find your feet and work your way in but I don't think anybody abuses it any more because it is very much about being together and about being a unit. Let's be honest, he is part of the unit, he has got a job to do, the manager has put him on the bench and he has put him on the bench because he might be the one that comes on to give us different options. So, you don't want the lad feeling as if he has been bullied before he gets out there, he is part of the team and he is being treated as such.

 

 

JP

Yeah, perhaps I didn't choose my words carefully there, abuse, I think the footballers if I follow correctly on twitter call it banter these days don't they. In terms of the mood, what was it like lifting everyone, was that even required at the weekend because they were so good against Charlton and were so unfortunate to come away with nothing, let alone maybe even a win out of that game, they played well enough. Did there need to be any lifting or did they already know that they just had to keep going?

AH

I thought there would be, but like I say, the session down at MK Dons yesterday was unbelievable. It might have been Murph (Peter Murphy) who came out, he was last out of the dressing room as ever, I don't know why but that is Murph's want. He came onto the pitch and he was the one who said 'right, let's get this going, let's start doing things', and they were passing between themselves before he got there. Then they started their little teamwork thing that they do themselves before the coaches even get there. So, I think amongst the lads themselves there was a determination just to prepare and try to do this one right. Because, it is big, if we win tonight then who knows?

 

 

JP

We have just had Chris Ross in touch on twitter, he says 'let's do this for Lacey'. We have done this promotion campaign for a number of people, but, yeah, let's do it for Lacey?

AH

Who better eh? We all know what Derek was for Radio Cumbria and for Carlisle United, and he was as big a Carlisle fan as he was an Arsenal fan, and that is testament to the way that he was over the ten years that he commentated. So, yeah, what a wonderful sentiment.

 

 

JP

I hope that we are all chatting and I am chatting to your boss later on and we are talking about a wonderful victory and a season defining one for Carlisle United? Let's hope that is the case?

AH

Yeah, we have all got fingers crossed, and the work has been done, it is just about what happens out there now.