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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Carlisle Utd boss warns players about Brentford set-piece danger

Greg Abbott wants Carlisle United to chalk up a victory for the little man tonight – by bringing Brentford’s giants down to size.

Carlisle Utd staff photo
Greg Abbott with kitman Colin Nixon and media officer Andy Hall

The Blues boss, whose side can enter the play-off zone with victory in the televised clash at Griffin Park (kick-off 7.45pm), has identified the Bees’ set-piece threat as their biggest strength.

Last season’s Wembley foes have a host of players over 6ft – with Lubo Michalik Carlisle’s lone outfield giant.

But Abbott says his team can find a way to thrive against Uwe Rosler’s big hosts in front of the Sky cameras.

“Brentford are a terrific side from set-pieces and have scored a lot of goals from them late in games,” said the United manager.

“The likes of Leon Legge and Gary Alexander are terrific in the air, they have midfield players over 6ft and they are a physical side with pace and power.

“We have to be wary of that and be ready to keep the ball moving quickly.”

Abbott concedes that his team must find a different way to improve their own goal threat after struggling to cope without banned Lee Miller against Tranmere last week.

The talisman centre-forward sits out the final game of his three-match suspension and Abbott is planning a formation change from his normal 4-3-3.

“We are trying to find a formation that suits us and we have worked on a lot of things,” Abbott said. “Brentford will have two powerful centre-halves and we have to find a different way.”

United were boosted at the weekend with a host of their chasing rivals failing to capitalise.

Bournemouth and Notts County lost, with the Magpies’ defeat at Hartlepool costing manager Martin Allen his job.

And with sixth-placed Stevenage yesterday holding Tottenham to a 0-0 draw in the FA Cup, it means Carlisle can leapfrog the Hertfordshire men with a victory tonight – whilst also giving themselves a nine-point advantage over the Bees.

“If we can make sure we keep getting results against these types of teams, it makes points like last Tuesday’s so much more important,” Abbott added.

“It’s a points total at the end of the season. That’s all that counts. It’s like golf – it doesn’t matter what you do to play up to the hole, it’s putting it in that matters.”

If Abbott makes selection changes tonight he will consider the claims of Liam Noble, Andy Welsh and Paddy Madden, but the manager will again be without Matty Robson and Craig Curran. Brentford boss Rosler, meanwhile, will check on Karleigh Osborne, who has been out since October with a foot injury.

The Cumbrians trained at MK Dons yesterday and Abbott insists the fact the game is televised makes no difference to United’s approach.

“That hasn’t even been mentioned,” he said.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports One with coverage starting at 7.30pm.

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