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Friday, 21 November 2014

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Sheff Weds game not all about Gary Madine, says Carlisle Utd boss

Carlisle United boss Greg Abbott insists today’s showdown is not all about controversial ex-Blues striker Gary Madine.

Gary Madine photo
Gary Madine is red carded

The former Carlisle frontman and Owls top scorer could deal a huge blow to the Cumbrians’ play-off hopes at Hillsborough (kick-off 3pm).

Madine’s reunion with the Blues has extra spice following his stormy, red-card return to Brunton Park during Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat last October.

But Abbott maintains all the focus should not be on 18-goal Madine this afternoon as he bids to keep Carlisle’s promotion hopes alive.

“He is just doing his best for his club now, but the game is nothing to do with Gary Madine,” said Abbott.

“Afterwards if Gary wants to have a drink with the boys, win, lose or draw, then he will do. But it’s not all about him.

“He did well for the club while he was here, we did well out of the deal, so did Sheffield Wednesday and he’s making his career.

“There’s nothing special about that. We’ve just got to concentrate on doing the best we can in the game.”

Madine has established himself as a key player in Wednesday’s automatic promotion campaign, with the Owls desperate for victory today to stay in touch with city rivals Sheffield United.

But he is today hoping for better fortunes against United after his unhappy return six months ago ended with a fine and a ban for improper conduct, following his dismissal.

The 21-year-old, a former youth team star at Carlisle, has declined interview requests in the build-up to today's showdown.

Abbott, meanwhile, is hoping the Blues can rediscover their scoring touch today after three successive blanks.

United, a point below the play-off places, will have one eye on sixth-placed Notts County’s clash with Bury at 12.30pm today, after which they will know the scale of their task in trying to keep up with the Magpies.

“We will just go and give the same honesty we have shown of late, try as hard as we can and I can guarantee the lads will be giving everything to win a football game,” said the Carlisle manager.

“Sheffield Wednesday are a powerful team on a powerful run. It will be a tough game, I can’t lie about that. But we have to put on another showing.”

Jordan Cook is expected to line up again for the Blues after coming through 90 minutes in Tuesday’s Stevenage defeat after overcoming a groin problem.

Julian Bennett (hamstring), Ryan Lowe (groin) and Keith Treacy (illness) could return for the Owls.

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