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Greg Abbott: Carlisle Utd is a special club with some special people

Greg Abbott today insisted he leaves Carlisle United with his head held high and his dignity intact.

The former Blues manager, whose five-year Brunton Park reign ended yesterday, says he holds no bitterness towards the “special” club over his exit.

Abbott who plans to be back in management as soon as he can, also mounted a defence of his own record at Carlisle – and the directors who decided his time was up.

In an exclusive interview with the News & Star, Abbott said: “This is a special club, because it’s my first club as a manager, and there are some special people here.

“I am absolutely grateful for the opportunity to become a manager and learn another side of this industry.

“At times it’s been tough, at others it’s been fantastic.

“I have spoken to the players, and all I’ve said is I want to be included in Saturday’s result, when you beat Sheffield United, but after that they’re on their own and I’m on my own.

“The dressing room is absolutely flat, because they feel for me and I feel for them. At no point in this relationship have either of us turned our back on each other.

“It’s been an unbelievable journey. I’m man enough to accept this decision, albeit reluctantly. For the people that wanted a change – now’s your chance to show that you do support the club and you’re going to back the club in difficult times.

“For that you need to support two really decent people, [chairman] Andrew Jenkins and [managing director] John Nixon, who have been nothing short of sensational in their support of me, the players and the club.

“There are lots of things I could say, but I’m a man who has a lot of pride and dignity in what he says and does.

“I want to leave on the right terms, come back in eight or nine weeks’ time to watch a game and see this club winning, without any resentment or bitterness to anybody at this club.”

The decision to end Abbott’s tenure was taken on Saturday night after the 1-0 defeat to Port Vale, and confirmed in a meeting between Abbott, Jenkins and Nixon 24 hours later.

The 49-year-old informed his backroom staff of his departure at 9.30am yesterday, with the squad then told around the time the news broke in a meeting described as “emotional” by one of the players present.

Abbott then left Brunton Park with partner Sally at 11.30am, an hour before the players had their first training session under caretaker trio Kavanagh, Davie Irons and Tony Caig.

Abbott said he is determined not to be out of work for long and will always hold United in his affections.

“Whatever anybody thinks, you don’t become one of the longest-serving managers at a club with limited resources without doing something right,” he said.

“I think I’m good at what I do. If you look at my record it’s a very, very good one. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and privileged for the support I’ve had from good people in football the city, and my family, who have found it tough. Sometimes in football you are the victim of circumstances, but I still think I’m a good young manager who’s got a lot to offer this game.

“I want to be in the game, I want to be working this Saturday. There’s every chance I won’t be, but I’ll be glued to the TV, and the loudest cheer if Carlisle beat Sheffield United won’t come from the Paddock, it will come from Greg Abbott.”

Abbott, who is set to become a grandfather in February, said he will now take a short holiday before seeking a new job.

On his possible successor, he added: “I hope Graham [Kavanagh] does a fantastic job and puts himself forward, and he gets every support. People don’t realise the effect the job can have. We are tough people but I’ve got a fragile inside.

“I think, deep down, the people who made this decision would still like me at the football club but they had to do something to protect the business. There will not be one criticism from me to anyone, from the chairman down to the youngest supporter.”

Have your say

How does that old proverb go? "You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear". How could Gregg have had any hope of ever improving the team situation at C.U.F.C.? This team will continue to take battering after battering unless the B.O.D. Start to pump money into the playing staff.We all know this will never happen?Interesting statements from J.N. saying "Decisions were taken for the good of the fans and the club". Hope they remember that,after we get hammered this Saturday,and advertise the club as FOR SALE.

Posted by Jimmy. on 11 September 2013 at 09:14

All the best Greg. As an exile I don't get to as many matches as I should, but have always thought that you conducted yourself with honour and with a passion maybe some of the players lacked. Have a good break and thanks for all you have done for our club.

Posted by John Bradley on 10 September 2013 at 23:07

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