Former Carlisle manager Greg Abbott is back in football - with one of the Blues' League Two rivals.

The ex-United boss has been appointed head of football operations at promotion-chasing Mansfield Town.

Abbott, who recently left his role as assistant coach at Bradford City, will work alongside Stags manager David Flitcroft as well as chairman John Radford and chief executive Carolyn Radford.

Abbott, 55, is set to be United's boardroom guest of honour at tomorrow's game against Macclesfield at Brunton Park.

He could now return to Carlisle in a working capacity early in the new year with third-placed Mansfield set to face the Blues on January 5.

Mansfield, in a statement, said Abbott "will further advance the efficiency of all football matters, which will enable manager David Flitcroft to focus solely on developing the first team on a day-to-day basis".

He will also "expand the dynamics and structure" of the One Call Stadium club, they said.

Flitcroft said Abbott's arrival was "a forward-thinking appointment", saying the ex-Blues man had "first-class communication and personal skills" and a "calm and wise" head.

"As we approach the opening of the January transfer window, I have been inundated with phone calls from agents as well as sporting and technical directors," Flitcroft said.

"Greg will be dealing with this type of communication at a football level, whilst the final say on recruitment will remain with me, which is important.

"It will be an easier process now Greg is involved as we continue to build and strengthen the future of Mansfield Town."

The Stags added that Abbott would help look for "a new talent pool of players".

Coventry-born Abbott was in charge at United from 2008-13, having joined in 2006 as assistant manager.

He has also had coaching spells with Leeds and Notts County.

He recently waged a successful fight against prostate cancer.