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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Carlisle Utd players warned about fast-starting Stevenage

Mike Edwards today warned Carlisle United they cannot afford a false start against Stevenage this weekend, insisting: They’ll be in our faces.

Mike Edwards photo
Mike Edwards

The new signing says United’s hosts this weekend are renowned for starting games at breakneck speed.

It was a quality that helped Boro pip the Blues and experienced Edwards’ former club Notts County to the play-offs in 2011/12.

And the centre-half, who will make his league debut for the Cumbrians at the Lamex Stadium, says it will be no different when the curtain goes up on Carlisle’s bid for League One glory.

“I’ve played at Stevenage before – it’s a small ground and they like to get in your face from the beginning,” Edwards said.

“They normally start off at a very fast tempo, so we have to make sure we match that.

“We know what they are like, what we will come up against. It’s important we are ready.”

Edwards is relishing life with the Blues after getting the nod in the back four ahead of long-serving Peter Murphy.

The 32-year-old admits he is taking nothing for granted as he bids to establish himself as a regular fixture in Greg Abbott’s defence.

While Abbott continues his attempts to strengthen the front end of his team, Edwards and Danny Livesey have the early opportunity to forge a partnership at the back after being paired for the season opener against Accrington in the Capital One Cup.

The new boy added: “Competition is healthy for everyone – it’s great that I’ve got the nod and now it’s a case of trying to keep myself in there and do well for the team.

“I’ve not had to make a debut for quiet some time so it was important to get off to a good start,” said Abbott’s first summer signing, who spent eight years at Meadow Lane before moving to Cumbria.

“There was a good little buzz before the game and it was great to get the clean sheet and the victory, and settle down.

“It wasn’t the perfect performance by any means but the main thing is to make sure we keep improving as a team and a squad, and to keep learning from mistakes.”

Carlisle will on Saturday be aiming to banish the memory of their defeat in Hertfordshire in April which seriously dented their play-off bid. Edwards insisted the opening match carries no extra importance than any other, but also stressed the importance of a good start to the campaign.

“Every game is worth the same number of points and you get judged by the end of the season,” he said. “It’s a case of building consistency and hopefully that will help us finish above the likes of Stevenage.

“I don’t think there can be massive emphasis on one game but as a player and a team you want to get off to a good start, get in a rhythm and get into the habit of winning as soon as possible.”

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