Saturday, 28 November 2015

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Ex-Carlisle player Michalik: Why I quit the Blues

Lubo Michalik today claimed he quit Carlisle United because he wanted a new challenge – but insisted he enjoyed every second of his time with the Blues.

Lubo Michalik photo
Lubomir Michalik, right, clashes with Notts County's Ben Burgess

The Slovakian defender described his two years at Brunton Park as a “beautiful” time and described United as “a big family”.

In his first interview since leaving United, Michalik denied that being dropped by Greg Abbott last season had triggered his decision, claiming that he would have made the same call had he been the manager.

The seven-cap centre-half, who has been linked with Hibernian, Preston and Polish champions Slask Wroclaw, also insisted he was not leaving in order to boost his international prospects – and denied he was on the verge of finding a new club.

Asked why he had turned down the Blues’ new contract offer, he told News & Star Sport: “It’s difficult to say. I think it was just a personal feeling.

“When I signed first time I was 100 per cent that I wanted to stay at Carlisle, but now I think I need a fresh start and a new challenge somewhere else. I was always happy with Carlisle for my two years.”

Reports in Poland on Thursday claimed Michalik was close to joining Wroclaw but the 28-year-old, currently on holiday in Cyprus, says his future is still unclear.

And he was at pains to reveal his debt of gratitude to Carlisle and their supporters for the way they had welcomed him to Cumbria.

“I have heard things from the media and maybe I will get phonecalls today or tomorrow, or maybe not for weeks,” he said. “Right now I’m not signing anywhere. It’s best when you know your future as soon as possible but I just wait for the right decision.

“In football things are not even certain when you have the pen in your hand. It can change with one phonecall. Maybe I take a risk as well, but I never regretted my decisions before, moving from Bolton to Leeds and from Leeds to Carlisle. Hopefully this is the right decision again.

“When I spoke to the manager [Abbott] after the season finished, I told him about my feeling. Over the two years he was always positive with me and he always understood what I wanted.

“The decision is nothing bad towards Carlisle. I can only say the nicest things about Carlisle. Every person – players, staff, fans – connected with the club made me really proud I played for them.

“I was made very welcome on the pitch and off it. It’s like a big family, all together. I still think of it as a beautiful two years and I will never forget about this club.

“Wembley was very special but so was every single game. And the people, the fans – when they shouted my name it was an unbelievable feeling.”

Michalik lost his place in February when a form crash led Abbott to drop him but the Slovakian says he bears his ex-boss no bitterness.

He said: “Any time a player is not playing, it’s disappointing - but I know why I lost my place and I didn’t even need to chat with the manager about it.

“Obviously it was the right decision and if I was the manager I would have done exactly the same.

“I didn’t change anything that I did over the two years. If I knew the reason I definitely would have changed but I think every player has times when their form is worse than normal.”

Michalik recently earned his seventh Slovakia cap in a friendly against Poland and said United – where he made 75 appearances – helped him relaunch his international career.

“If you are not playing regularly, it is difficult to be in the international team. Carlisle helped me and a big thank-you to the club for this,” he said.

“This decision wasn’t connected with the national team. My decision would be the same if I wasn’t going with the national team. I don’t know if it’s the right decision but hopefully it is.

“You never know what the future brings, what’s around the corner. Whether I play at a better level, the same or lower, I don’t know. I’ve been in England over five years and have enjoyed every single minute. Now my number one country is England and I will be happy to stay here but I will consider different countries as well.”

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