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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Carlisle United don't want Paolo Di Canio to be in with a shout

CARLISLE UNITED boss Greg Abbott has warned Swindon’s hot-headed manager Paolo Di Canio he’ll need his tin hat on to cope with the verbal bombardment from the Paddock this afternoon.

I hear what you’re saying:Swindon boss Paolo Di Canio is set to receive a hot reception today from United fans in the Paddock


Abbott is normally the one ducking for cover from the banter hurled towards his technical area.

But the Blues boss is expecting a reprieve this afternoon as fans almost certainly switch their attentions to the touchline histrionics of Di Canio, whose controversial 15-month reign at Swindon has even seen him clash with his own players.

The Italian’s melodramatic touchline gestures have made the former West Ham, Charlton, Juventus and AC Milan star one of the most colourful additions to League One this season.

Asked how his counterpart will cope with Paddock cat-calls today, Abbott said: “He won’t have come up with anything like he is going to come up with on Saturday.

“He is probably better off not reacting, but I would think with his personality he will find that very difficult.

“I’m going to take four or five more steps to my left than I usually do and let them have their fun. If he takes it the right way, they will absolutely love him.

“You can see how much he loves the game as he does everything with a passion and, when I watched the Preston and Swindon game, he was amusing to watch as you could see his despair with his team and how animated he becomes.”

Di Canio, whose team arrives at Carlisle on the back of a three-match losing run, hopes the Brunton Park playing surface will bring out the best in his side, which has been dubbed the Barcelona of League One.

But he has also challenged his players to roll up their sleeves against a Carlisle side which has a renewed confidence after their 2-1 win at Hartlepool.

Di Canio told News & Star Sport: “It is a beautiful place to go at the moment and it is a very big field at Brunton Park.

“Carlisle are a good side who have confidence and had a good result away from home last Saturday. Hartlepool did have chances last weekend but Carlisle have quality in their squad.

“If my team plays with the quality and the mechanism that we know, then we can win the game.

“It will be important to see the improvement in terms of discipline, desire and the belief in what we are doing.

“We are capable of winning the game but the key point is the belief because there is a positive energy around the players at the moment. The attitude we have is positive and I am fully confident.”

Apart from long-term injury victims Rory Loy and Lee Miller, Carlisle are at full strength for this afternoon’s clash.

Abbott has warned his players to expect a backlash from Swindon following the Wiltshire team’s recent slump. “They will be fired up and want a response to their recent run and I want a response to our victory,” he said.

“I’m sure he will be keen to put their recent run right as they started off flying.

“They have lost a little bit of confidence as the pressure is getting to them with the expectation on them because of the money they have spent, and we can take advantage of that.”



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