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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Carlisle Utd aiming to shackle Tranmere winger Andy Robinson

Carlisle United have targeted hat-trick hero Andy Robinson as the man to stop if they are to topple League One leaders Tranmere Rovers today.

Andy Robinson photo
Andy Robinson celebrates the second goal of his hat-trick against Carlisle in August

Robinson, who smashed a stunning treble past Carlisle in Rovers’ 3-0 win at Brunton Park in August, is hoping to be fit for the clash at Prenton Park despite being injured in a car crash this week.

Abbott pin-pointed the Tranmere winger as one of the biggest threats to Carlisle’s improving form, which has seen them collect three wins and a draw from their last six games, and stopping their nemesis will be a key battle for Blues right-back Frank Simek.

“Maybe that’s one of the best hat-tricks you will ever see,” said the Blues boss.

“It is certainly something that has been talked about. We’ve got a game plan most weeks and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but we certainly know the opposition strengths and weaknesses.

“We’ve got to make sure we put shackles around their strengths and try to exploit some of the weaknesses.

“Tranmere don’t play complicated football, but they have got an organised side that is equipped to take on League One – and they have done it fantastically well. They have that momentum and confidence flowing through the team, so we have got to deal with all that and try to impose our play on them. It’s going to be a tough game because they have gone to some tough places and got some big results, and certainly at home they are very hard to beat.”

Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore was recently rewarded with a new two-and-a-half contract for leading his side to the top on one of the smallest budgets in League One. The Merseysiders, who have won five of their last seven games, are the surprise packages this season, and Abbott hailed the work of his Tranmere counterpart.

“They have had four or five years of struggles and this is a jackpot season,” said Abbott.

“Ronnie for me is already manager of the year as he has been absolutely outstanding and what the club has achieved has been outstanding.

“What they have got to do now is manage expectations and sustainability. For what they have achieved up until now, Ronnie, his staff and players need a pat on the back as they have been by far and away the success story of the season.”

Left-back Chris Chantler is expected to be again ruled out today with an ankle injury, but central defenders Mike Edwards and Peter Murphy have recovered from hamstring and calf injuries respectively. Abbott will have to decide between JP McGovern and Dave Symington in midfield. Symington made his claim for a start with a stunning 35-yard free-kick after coming on as a substitute against Scunthorpe last Saturday.

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