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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Carlisle Utd boss still looking for new faces to strengthen squad

Greg Abbott today refused to rule out the prospect of a transfer market swoop in time for the League One kick-off.

Greg Abbott photo
Greg Abbott

The Carlisle United manager revealed he is continuing his search for players to further strengthen his squad following this summer’s arrival of Danny Cadamarteri, Mike Edwards and Alessio Bugno.

He missed out on another top target earlier this summer and has switched his focus to other players.

Abbott, whose side lost 2-1 at Morecambe in their final friendly last night, insists he is happy with his squad and will only make signings if they are better than his current players.

Time is running out to bring in a new signing ahead of Saturday’s Capital One Cup tie with Accrington Stanley, but the Blues boss refused to discount the possibility of a new arrival before his side opens their league campaign against Stevenage in 10 days’ time.

“I’m always trying to improve the squad and if anything should happen where I can improve it I would do it,” he said.

“When that may be is difficult to pin me down to because the answer is I don’t really know. If someone became available who would make us better, we would look at it.

“I’m always looking to make the squad as strong as I possibly can.”

Abbott is due to make a decision whether to offer a contract to trialist Ryan Donaldson, who played against Morecambe last night.

Right-back Frank Simek and Scottish playmaker JP McGovern are both in contention for Saturday’s opener after playing 90 minutes against Morecambe on their return from injury.

Simek missed the previous two friendlies against St Mirren and Middlesbrough after twisting his ankle on Durham City’s artificial pitch, while McGovern has missed the whole summer after undergoing a double hernia operation.

However, there was more frustration for Cadamarteri, who hasn’t played since Carlisle’s second friendly against Workington Reds with a hamstring injury.

The experienced signing from Huddersfield was sidelined last night and is almost certainly ruled out of Saturday’s opener.

“Frank has come through the game and JP is going to be stiff because of the type of injury he’s had.

“They seem alright and will do their gym work and swimming, and will both want to be on the training ground on Thursday because it’s an important day.”

Abbott sent out an experimental team of youth players and senior pros last night as he attempts to finalise his line-up for Saturday – but was still disappointed with the result.

He said: “I didn’t want to lose in pre-season and didn’t want to lose this friendly. That’s two 2-1 defeats on the bounce and we need to get back to winning ways on Saturday, which is the right time to do it.

“We’ve given everybody pitch time and now it’s the serious stuff of picking my best XI to face Accrington.”

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