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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Carlisle United have worst defence in league but Abbott insists they're turning the corner

Greg Abbott today insisted Carlisle United are “turning the corner” – even though the Blues now have the worst defensive record in League One.

Joe Garner photo
Joe Garner scores

The manager said United’s 2-1 defeat at Brentford, which took their goals-against tally to 30, was not a reason to doubt his team were improving.

Carlisle’s inability to keep a clean sheet was on show in the capital again when their failure to defend two Bees corners cost them.

The Cumbrians, who are 15th in League One, were also left to rue Joe Garner’s saved penalty.

But Abbott refused to accept that his team were not showing better signs after some of their poorer recent displays. “I was a worried person after the Notts County and Bournemouth games – I’m not worried about the team now,” he said.

“We are playing with a belief and there is definitely a change in mentality.

“I think we are turning the corner. We are getting players back and if we play like that we will win at home.

“If you perform like that, you’re alright. It’s when you are devoid of ideas, desire and team spirit that you suffer.”

Abbott said the loss at the hands of Uwe Rosler’s side was “a hard luck story” which was not the fault of his back four.

United’s failure to mark Jonathan Douglas and Paul Hayes allowed the Bees men to score from respective corners.

Top scorer Garner had levelled for the Blues in the first half with his seventh goal in 12 games, but then had a spot-kick saved by home keeper Simon Moore.

Abbott, meanwhile, maintained he had been right to keep Manchester United loanee Sean McGinty waiting for his debut.

The defender was again an unused substitute.

“In our last two games you couldn’t say we defended badly,” claimed the manager, whose side host Leyton Orient next Saturday.

“We conceded two goals from set-pieces but the general defending was very good, and Mike Edwards and Peter Murphy were terrific.

“If they play like that more often than not then the goal difference will improve.

“The players are playing for the shirt and there is definitely room for optimism.”

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