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Stevenage inflict huge blow on Carlisle Utd play-off hopes

Greg Abbott today promised Carlisle United’s fans that his team will “roll their sleeves up” and give everything to keep their faltering play-off bid alive.

Greg Abbott photo
Greg Abbott

The Blues suffered a damaging 1-0 defeat to rivals Stevenage last night, leaving Abbott’s side in eighth place and a point behind Notts County with just three games left.

John Mousinho’s 77th minute winner for Boro also leaves Carlisle heading for formidable Sheffield Wednesday this weekend without a goal in three matches.

But manager Abbott is refusing to throw in the towel and pledged his players would fight tooth and nail for the nine remaining points on offer. “We will be trying our best,” he said. “We will roll our sleeves up and have a good go at it.”

Last night’s second straight 1-0 defeat allowed Stevenage to move ahead of the Blues on goal difference.

But the big winners may have been Notts County, who can now go four points clear of the chasing pack if they beat Bury in their early kick-off on Saturday.

Carlisle are struggling for goals without injured Lee Miller but Abbott insisted his depleted side could have done little more last night.

The Blues put plenty of pressure on Stevenage in an impressive second half showing but were unable to find the net.

And sub Mousinho, on the pitch for just four minutes, then broke United’s resistance at the other end.

Abbott said: “I don’t think the players could have given more. As a manager and as a city that’s all you can ask from them. I couldn’t go in ranting and raving, shouting and bawling.

“They gave their all. They are a credit to themselves. They kept going, asked loads of questions of Stevenage, but couldn’t quite find the answer in the end.”

Abbott pointed to a crucial save from home keeper Chris Day from Danny Livesey early in the second half as a key moment.

“It’s a fine line. If the keeper doesn’t make a wonder save and it goes in, nobody is talking about us missing Lee [Miller],” he added. “We know we came up second best, slightly, but now we have three massive games and we keep going. It’s what we do.

“We come back in on Thursday, everyone has to pick each other up and we have to rally around.

“I think the fans appreciated the energy and the pride the players were playing with. There were hundreds of them at Stevenage on a Tuesday night – absolutely fair play to them.”

Abbott also played down suggestions he could recall striker Craig Curran from his loan at Morecambe. The frontman, who scored United’s winner at Hillsborough last season, could return when the first 28 days of his loan period expire before Saturday.

Abbott said: “It’s something to think about but if we brought him back he’s probably not going to play, because of the lads we already have up there in Francois [Zoko], Paddy [Madden] and [Jordan] Cook.”

Have your say

Greg and Kav have built a top 8 squad on their contacts with the big premiership managers. They've brought in highly skilled players on very low finances.
If the board had been able or willing to dig a bit deeper into their pockets, a couple more key players could have made a massive difference. We should have brought in some back up in January to strengthen the squad, knowing how the lads always tire out in the last few games. The lack of any serious investment in January, despite our push at the top makes me wonder if the board really have the same commitment to succeed as the fans have. We're not talking a fortune.
What happened to all the hype of the new stadium?
Greg and Kav have done fantastically on their meagre budget and i wouldn't be surprised if a club with more resources, finance and commitment come and lure them away.
Then what type of replacement would the Carlisle board be able to afford.
The Carlisle board need to give Greg more to purchase players or lose him.

Posted by Dave on 18 April 2012 at 18:17

Well done Carlisle United a good effort this season lads!!!.I recommend the board do more to get people down to Brunton park maybe cheaper ticket price??? then in return they make more on confectionery ECT... I certainly be they through thick harmed with my brunton pastie and bovril :)

Posted by Lee Lawson on 18 April 2012 at 13:55

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