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Thursday, 28 August 2014

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Carlisle directors say Abbott’s position won't be reviewed in January

Carlisle United’s board have distanced themselves from claims by director Norman Steel that manager Greg Abbott’s position will be reviewed next month.

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Determined: Greg Abbott and, left, yesterday’s back page

The Blues rushed out a statement to deny that Abbott’s job will be looked at by the end of January if results do not improve.

Trust chairman Steel’s fellow directors at Brunton Park claimed his remarks “were not representative of the feeling” of the United board.

The denial followed Steel’s interview on BBC Radio Cumbria on Tuesday night in which, when asked at what stage Abbott’s job would be reviewed if poor results continued, he replied: “End of January.”

This, United now insist, was “not a reflection of our current stance”.

Steel had previously repeated an earlier insistence that the club was not scrutinising Abbott’s position and was not minded to make any knee-jerk decisions as the Blues boss tries to turn Carlisle’s results around.

He had also said that “the situation gets reviewed on an ongoing basis” and “at this moment in time” there were no plans to assess Abbott’s position.

Steel declined to elaborate on the “end of January” line when contacted by News & Star Sport last night.

The confusion comes as Abbott prepares his 18th-placed team for Saturday’s big League One clash with fellow strugglers Shrewsbury at Greenhous Meadow.

In United’s statement, chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “As chairman and on behalf of the board of directors I can confirm that there have been no discussions at all about the manager’s position and there have been no time frames set in any way by any member of the board. The views expressed to Radio Cumbria on Tuesday night were not representative of the feeling of the board of directors and are not a reflection of our current stance.”

Steel claimed on Tuesday that relations between the club and the trust were “more cordial” than they had been when he joined the board, as the trust’s elected director, in 2006.

United’s home clash with Coventry on Saturday, January 12 has been switched to the Sunday (3pm). Coventry’s Johnstone's Paint Trophy northern semi-final tie against Bury or Preston has been selected for live broadcast on Sky Sports on Thursday, January 10.

Former Hartlepool youth striker Jason Blackburn has joined United’s youth team on a two-year scholarship.

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