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Carlisle Utd boss breaks up side for first time in eight games

Greg Abbott has backed his players to rise to the challenge when he is forced to break up his promotion-chasing side for the first time in eight games today.

Greg Abbott photo
Greg Abbott

The Carlisle United boss is denied the luxury of an unchanged team for the first time in more than a month due to Chris Chantler’s hamstring injury.

That leaves fit-again Matty Robson and Slovakin international Lubo Michalik competing for a return to the side against Scunthorpe (Brunton Park, 3pm).

Abbott knows he must make the correct call to ensure the Blues maintain their strong form to see off the Iron and keep their rivals in the play-off race at bay.

“It’s not a perfect world and sometimes you have to adjust,” the United manager said.

“We have proved we can do that in the past, and one player’s disappointment can open the door for another.

“Others are waiting and they have all been in tremendous spirits and determined to prove a point.”

With Chantler unlikely to be involved having being subbed in the early stages of the Good Friday draw at Wycombe, Abbott could hand Robson his first start since January.

The man who started the campaign as first-choice left-back has been building up his fitness after a three-month absence with a back problem.

Michalik, meanwhile, impressed after coming off the bench at Adams Park and he could partner Danny Livesey at centre-half, with Peter Murphy moving to left-back.

Stephen O’Halloran could also be a candidate for a rare start.

United are aiming to go 16 home matches unbeaten today and boost their bid for a top six place.

The Cumbrians are two points clear in sixth, with a game in hand over Notts County. The Magpies today host Yeovil with other rivals Brenftord at Hartlepool, and Stevenage at home to Preston.

Carlisle remain favourites to secure the final play-off place but Abbott knows today’s game won’t be easy against a Scunny side he expects to be in the promotion hunt next season after this year’s troubles.

“They are a good side and if you look at the names they’ve got on their team sheet, they’ve probably underperformed this season,” he said.

“They have hit form at the right time to get out of the mess they’re in and they might then regroup, come back bigger and stronger next season, and be up there challenging – that’s how good a squad I think they’ve got.”

United’s youth team cruised to a 5-1 win against Port Vale on Saturday with Josh Todd (two), Patrick Brough, Brad Potts and Dave Symington on target.

Have your say

Carlisle have strength at the back if Greg chooses to use it. Robbo is eager to get back in to the squad, as are others.
Carlisle are in an unusual position of having a squad that are not worn out,or running on reserve this time.
Stephen O'Halloran, however is never going to get a start, as it is strongly believed that Greg and Steve have attitude issues.
On the rare occasions that Steve has been given a chance, i've been impressed. He's much like Danny Livesey, in that he stays back and does a solid job without getting too elaborate.
The next 6 games are about results and points, more than individual performances.
Greg has built a squad that are mentally linked. They communicate fast and instinctively know where to be and what to do. That's why Carlisle can beat the big spending clubs.
Whoever Greg chooses to fill Chantlers boots must be able to read the rest of the squads playing methods fast to fit in.

Posted by david on 9 April 2012 at 11:07

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