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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Carlisle Utd boss hails 'warrior' Sean O'Hanlon

Boss Greg Abbott hailed wounded warrior Sean O’Hanlon after the debut star inspired Carlisle United to a vital win against Coventry.

Sean O
Sean O'Hanlon

The new centre-half ended the game with a bloody head wound bandaged up after colliding with team-mate Chris Chantler.

Former Hibs and MK Dons man O’Hanlon, who signed on Friday, had stitches last night as Abbott saluted the centre-half for his no-nonsense Carlisle bow in the 1-0 victory.

“Sean is a leader, a warrior,” the relieved manager said. “We have needed a real number five and he has set his own standard now. The fans will love him if he keeps heading it and tackling like that.

“It looks like he enjoys defending. I told the players afterwards that I was delighted to see some blood in my dressing room.

“That’s what it took for Coventry to get anywhere near our net. We shed our own blood to make sure we kept a clean sheet.”

Chantler also needed treatment to his head after the collision early in the second half, which briefly left Carlisle with nine men.

But the duo eventually returned to the fray and were among the stars of Carlisle’s first victory of 2013, sealed by Matty Robson’s early header – the winger’s seventh goal of the season.

It enabled impressive United to secure a third straight home victory which Abbott dedicated to the fans who travelled to Swindon for the previous weekend’s 4-0 hiding at Swindon.

The Blues, who have now done the double over in-form Coventry, moved up a place to 17th and are now nine points above the drop zone.

“We more than got a response,” Abbott added. “When we are down people kick us hard but we have just kicked hard back.

“I was mortified for the 246 people who went to Swindon and I hope every single one of them was here to see this.

“Last week, without our goalkeeper [Mark Gillespie] to keep it respectable, we could have been beaten by something like seven or eight when they have to write the word out on the TV so you believe it. We were ridiculously poor but we grouped up together, had to do something about it, and if that’s a group of players that doesn’t want to play for this football club then I’m an absolute Dutchman.”

Left-back Chantler was back after an ankle injury while Paul Thirlwell and Danny Cadamarteri also returned as subs.

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