Saturday, 28 November 2015

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Replacing Chantler headache for Carlisle Utd boss

Greg Abbott admitted he’s now searching for a new left-back on the cheap after the hammer blow of losing Chris Chantler for the season.

Chris Chantler photo
Chris Chantler

Matty Robson will today continue in the position against Stevenage (Brunton Park, 3pm) after it was revealed Chantler has undergone ankle surgery.

The devastating loss of Chantler has left manager Abbott short at left-back, with Alessio Bugno having left the club recently.

But the Abbott confessed it will not be easy to fill the void now that the emergency loan window has re-opened.

“We will be working to give us options but it will boil down to finance,” Abbott said. “We can’t just make a phonecall and get one in. We’re not Manchester United. Players aren’t dropping off trees. It will have to be for the right amount of money.

“We haven’t generated enough money this season, which makes it difficult to replace somebody when you still have to pay injured players.”

In the short-term Abbott will ask Robson to deputise, the seven-goal winger having moved into the back four for Carlisle’s last two games.

And the former Hartlepool man could remain there for the foreseeable future if he proves a success – and if the recalled Andy Welsh can produce on the wing.

Asked if Bugno’s recent departure had created space on the wage bill for a new signing, Abbott replied: “It has got to be right. The revenue we try and find is generally taken up. We need to find enough to get more options in. If it’s generated it will be spent.”

Chantler is now in plaster after a third scan revealed more serious damage to his ankle than United initially feared.

Abbott said the problem dates back to a late challenge in the closing stages of United’s 3-0 win over Hartlepool on Boxing Day, which caused Chantler to be subbed in the final minute.

He has since made three more appearances, before the full extent of the damage was discovered.

Abbott said: “The first two scans showed minimal damage, hence he nearly played a couple of weeks ago. He still wanted to play but the pain was too much and it kept swelling up, so he had another scan which confirmed there was more damage than we first thought.

“Dolly [physio Neil Dalton] got him quickly to the operating table. He will be missed because he was doing well, and is the type of character who is exactly what we need to take the club forward.”

Chantler is out of contract in the summer but Abbott would not be drawn on whether talks would now begin with the ex-Man City man, only saying that he had had discussions on several contract matters with managing director John Nixon.

He is likely to name an unchanged team today, with last week’s matchwinner Rory Loy making his first Brunton Park appearance since 2011.

“Stevenage are superbly well organised and will probably be a genuinely counter-attacking team,” added Abbott.


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