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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Carlisle United boss has 'plan B' if Miller quits

Boss Greg Abbott is confident Carlisle United have done everything they can to keep Lee Miller – but has a Plan B in place if their top scorer quits Brunton Park.

Lee Miller photo
Lee Miller

Miller is considering his future and has until Friday to tell United if he is willing to sign a new one-year deal.

Last season’s nine-goal top scorer is widely expected to quit the club, and could seek a move back to Scotland to be nearer his three sons.

Miller has always maintained that his family would come first in any decision on his future.

Abbott would dearly love to keep Miller and build a team around the 29-year-old former Middlesbrough, Aberdeen and Dundee United targetman.

And the Blues boss insists there is a strong incentive for his talisman forward to stay during a time of cost-cutting at the club.

“Lee knows the pros and cons of staying, and he will make the decision based on what he thinks,” said Abbott.

“He is well liked here by the staff and the fans, and he is a good team player and good influence in the dressing-room.

“He knows he is going to play on a regular basis so they are positives for him, and we have talked to him about that.

“Without a doubt we have made a strong case to him. I’ve done what I can and the club has.”

Without Miller, Carlisle’s remaining strikers would be Mark Beck, Alex Salmon and Danny Cadamarteri, with the latter set to miss the start of next season as he recovers from knee and ankle surgery.

But Abbott is likely to turn to the transfer market to seek a replacement for Miller.

“As a manager you have always got to be prepared that player will leave your club and that you have something in place to replace them,” he said.

“We’ve lost players in these circumstances before on a regular basis and we have always managed to come up with something to keep us moving in the right direction.

“If Lee does go we have a proven track record that we will cope without him, but I would love him to stay.

“In that respect, we have to be fairly positive.

Miller, along with midfielder Paul Thirlwell and winger Matty Robson, are due to inform United of their decisions at the end of the week.

Abbott, meanwhile, is continuing his pursuit of an unnamed winger in the hope he can strike a deal before he leaves on holiday this weekend.

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