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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Carlisle Utd boss tells players: 'Don't let us be the nearly men'

Greg Abbott today urged his promotion-chasing team not to be remembered as this season’s nearly men.

Greg Abbott photo
Greg Abbott

The Carlisle United manager, whose side face Bournemouth this afternoon (Seward Stadium, 3pm), admits it would be heartbreaking if the Blues fell away from the play-off race at this late stage.

The Cumbrians are a point outside the top six today and can strengthen their credentials by recording their first away win of 2012 in Dorset.

And with tough tests against rivals like MK Dons, Stevenage and Huddersfield to follow, Abbott has urged his players not to falter.

“I have talked to the players about the risk of having eight games off towards the end of the season – because that is what will happen if we don’t jeep performing,” he said.

“If we end up in the middle of the table, with nothing at stake, that would be failure.

“I hate the ‘nearly’ tag. We could finish where we are now and people would say it’s been a fantastic season. I think at the end we would feel we had underachieved a bit.

“We are in there now with a great chance and we don’t want to fall flat at the final hurdle.”

Abbott is likely to name an unchanged side today with defender Peter Murphy making his 440th appearance – setting an outfield record for Carlisle in all competitions.

The Blues had not struck an agreement to extend Jordan Cook’s loan as News & Star Sport went to press, and Carlisle must sign the striker up by midday to involve him against Bournemouth.

A likelier scenario is that they relaunch their bid to lure Cook for a third month’s loan next week.

Abbott said he wants to add at least one more loan player to his side before next Thursday's deadline.

He said: “It would be criminal for this club, after the work everybody has put in, if we didn’t cross line because of bad luck with injuries or suspensions.

“What we can do will be results determined and the crowd can help. If we get 6-7,000 for Preston on Tuesday I will be banging the door to say to the board I want the extra money for a player, not to pay the gardening bill or something else.”

Abbott believes it would be wrong to take Bournemouth for granted despite their recent run of defeats.

“With the quality they have brought in, it will be a very tough one,” he said. “We will have to make sure we are on our mettle.”

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