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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Paul Thirlwell denies Carlisle Utd coaching deal

Paul Thirlwell today denied he is being lined up for a backroom role at Carlisle United, insisting: I just want to keep playing.

Paul Thirlwell photo
Paul Thirlwell

The veteran midfielder, one of 11 players whose future will be thrashed out with Greg Abbott today, has dismissed rumours he could be handed an off-field role.

Abbott, who expects his own contract to be “rubber-stamped” in the next 48 hours, is poised to tell some of that 11 that they are no longer wanted at Brunton Park.

Club captain Thirlwell, 34, hopes he will not be one of the players to be axed, but dismissed suggestions there is a coaching role at the club for him, saying: “If there is, I don’t know anything about it. I’m still happy playing. I’ve had a lot of appearances this year and no-one wants to hang their boots up before they have to. I’m in the same position as the other lads. We will have meetings with the gaffer and see what happens.”

Abbott was due at Brunton Park this morning to begin a day of talks with his squad.

The manager has confirmed Danny Livesey has triggered the offer of a one-year extension to his deal, though the defender has yet to agree the new terms. The other nine set to learn their fate are Peter Murphy, Matty Robson, Frank Simek, Adam Collin, Josh Todd, Rory Loy, Lee Miller, Mathieu Manset and JP McGovern.

Andy Welsh has already been told he is not being awarded a new contract, though after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Colchester Abbott claimed to be unaware the news had been announced.

The Blues manager said McGovern, who was not included in Saturday’s squad, has been suffering from a back problem.

“He has had it for a while, for two or three weeks, he has only been training on a Friday before a match and playing on matchday,” Abbott said.

Abbott’s own future has been the subject of speculation for much of the season, but at the United Trust’s open meeting yesterday morning it was claimed a contract offer has long been on the table.

Trust chairman and club director Normal Steel said: “It was offered several months ago but the manager himself decided he didn’t want to discuss it until the season was over.”

Abbott himself said: “I would like to think we will be here next year. It’s up to [managing director] John Nixon and the chairman to rubber-stamp. We have had some decent talks about what we want to do, issues good and bad, the structure going forward. Hopefully by Tuesday everything will be sewn up.”

Abbott conceded the Colchester defeat had been a missed chance to end a poor season well. The game ended embarrassingly, with some fans turning on the club’s directors and some throwing their season tickets in their direction. Few supporters remained in the ground to greet the squad when they reappeared for a lap of honour. Abbott said: “It has been a long, hard slog and the rubbishy goals we conceded put a dampener on it. But I’m loath to be critical of the players. They have given us an unbelievable shift over the last six or seven weeks. There is a lot to consider and everybody at the club has to improve their performance and take responsibility.”

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