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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Carlisle Utd too good to be sucked into relegation battle, says Scunthorpe boss

Scunthorpe manager Brian Laws is backing Greg Abbott to turn things around at Carlisle United because he believes the Blues are too good to get stuck in a relegation battle.

Greg Abbott photo
Greg Abbott

Laws reckons Saturday’s clash between the two struggling clubs at Glanford Park will be the biggest game of the season for both sides.

A defeat for Carlisle could see the Cumbrians sucked into the relegation zone for the first time this season and enable Scunthorpe to climb out of the bottom four. Laws will spell out to his players just how important a victory is for them – and says defeat will be another massive blow to Carlisle’s morale.

“It’s an important game for both teams, no question about that,” said the Iron boss. “Carlisle find themselves being pulled towards the bottom end and we are the magnets trying to draw them in, so there is a lot at stake.

“Neither team would want to lose as whoever is beaten will be in the relegation zone, so it’s not an ordinary game.

“I firmly believe the result on Saturday won’t decide our futures as there are a lot of games to play and there will be losses along the way. The season doesn’t rest on this, but a win will give either side a huge lift going into the Christmas programme.

“The aim for us is over-taking Carlisle and getting out of the bottom four and it will demoralise Carlisle if they get sucked in.”

Laws, who returned for a second spell as Scunthorpe manager in October, admits he is surprised to see Carlisle struggling. Carlisle go into the match after a dismal run of six defeats in their last seven games, but Laws has warned his players – buoyed by a 3-1 win at Leyton Orient last weekend – not to under-estimate them.

Laws added: “Greg has done a fantastic job and he has proved in the past he can turn things round. They won’t be sucked into a relegation battle because they are better than that. Having had a great season last year, the expectations on Carlisle were that it would be much of the same if not more. It’s easy to lose a game but it takes real courage and determination to stop a losing run.

“The Christmas period is the ideal scenario to do that, and this is a crucial time for every club as it can lay foundations for the second half of the season.

“We won’t be taking Carlisle lightly as it will be harder than last week against Leyton Orient. There’s a different value to this game as there is so much at stake for both teams.”

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