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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Jordan Cook: I will be gutted to miss play-offs but I'll help fire Carlisle Utd there

New Carlisle United goal hero Jordan Cook says he’ll do everything in his power to fire the Blues into the play-offs – even though he won’t be able to play in them.

Jordan Cook photo
Jordan Cook

The Sunderland loan striker, whose late double strike earned the Blues a memorable midweek win at MK Dons, is eyeing more heroics against Huddersfield tomorrow (Brunton Park, 3pm).

Cook was the toast of United’s fans after his dramatic efforts on Tuesday and many are calling for the young frontman to be handed a start against the Terriers.

But there is a bittersweet element to Cook’s emergence at Brunton Park, because his third month’s loan will run out before the last game of the season.

That will complete his 93-day loan spell, with United unable to extend it further – meaning Cook would miss the play-offs if Greg Abbott’s side nail a top-six finish.

The 22-year-old admits he would be gutted to miss out if Carlisle make it but he is desperate to impress in his remaining seven games for the Blues, starting against the fourth-placed Terriers tomorrow.

“I can only do as much as I’m doing at the moment,” Cook said. “Obviously I want to start but if I don’t I can only do my best in the time I get on the pitch. I’m just happy to be involved for as long as I can. If we do get to the play-offs I don’t think I can play, unless something drastic can be done.

“It would be a shame to miss out but there is loads of football still to be played.

“Imagine if we beat Huddersfield – it would put us in such a good position. Any result would be good but three would be great and it would help us push away from the teams behind us.”

Cook scored Carlisle’s equaliser in the 83rd minute at stadium mk before firing the winner from the spot in injury-time – the third penalty of the game, after Lee Miller had missed for United and Shaun Williams had converted for the hosts.

The sensational finish saw Carlisle extend their unbeaten run to six games ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Simon Grayson’s side at Brunton Park – where United have not lost in 15 matches. Cook said the stirring manner of United’s fightback on Tuesday bodes well for their showdown with another promotion-chasing side, who include 35-goal star striker Jordan Rhodes.

Cook said: “It shows everyone what character we’ve got right through the squad.

“It was disappointing with Lee missing the penalty but he has played so well for us this season that you can’t really complain about him there.

“The way we came back showed everyone what we are capable of.”

Abbott would not be drawn on whether Cook had played his way into the starting line-up but said the Stadium of Light player could not have done much more to impress.

The United manager said: “You make your own claim for a start with performances like that.

“We need 20 players like that wanting starts. Jordan would have been a happy boy on Tuesday night and we will see where we go this weekend.”

Fit-again Paul Thirlwell is pushing for a place in tomorrow's squad, but Matty Robson is not yet ready to return.

Huddersfield boss Grayson – set to name an unchanged side – is without injured quartet Tommy Miller, Damien Johnson, Oscar Gobern and Gary Naysmith, but Calum Woods is available.

United are three points ahead of seventh-placed Stevenage, who host Wycombe tomorrow. Notts County, a further point adrift, are at home to Oldham.

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