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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Carlisle Utd will not break bank to keep Lee Miller - Abbott

Greg Abbott says Carlisle United cannot risk breaking their wage structure to ensure Lee Miller stays at Brunton Park.

Lee Miller photo
Lee Miller

The Blues manager said the star striker, recently appointed team captain, will have to work within the club’s financial restrictions if he is to sign a new deal.

Miller’s future is the subject of growing speculation with the striker entering the last few months of his contract.

The Carlisle boss said he has spoken informally to the target-man about his future and Miller is aware of the limits of what the club can pay.

Abbott did claim that United CAN afford to keep the influential striker, but denied suggestions that the wish to tie 29-year-old Miller to a new deal was a major reason for last week’s decision to make him skipper.

“There will be a figure given to me at the end of the season, and that will have to be what I’ve got for next year,” said Abbott.

“If we are going to keep [Miller] he will have to work into that. It’s as simple as that.

“He can be afforded, but I wouldn’t want one player singled out to be on super amounts more than others. There will be a ceiling to what we can do with Lee, and he understands that, knows that, he’s as good as gold with it.

“He knows where we are. He has to look at where his future he thinks is best."

Miller’s standing at United has risen further since he took the captain’s armband, leading Carlisle to a victory against Coventry.

But fans fear the former Aberdeen and Middlesbrough man will walk away from United for nothing when his current deal runs out in the summer.

Asked if the captaincy could be a bargaining tool with contract talks in mind, Abbott said: “I don’t know. It may be.

“I think Lee likes the responsibility, takes it as an honour.

“If it has a positive impact on [contract talks] then it’s another reason for it being the right decision. It wasn’t at the forefront of my mindset, but if that’s the case, great.”

On the decision to make Miller skipper, replacing Danny Livesey, with Paul Thirlwell now club captain only, the United manager added: “There’s a long time to go with it so I don’t want to be claiming credit for anything.

“Hopefully it will turn out to be a good decision. I have my reasons for doing it and I want to keep them private. I just thought it was right to do, that it would have a positive impact.”

Abbott added that no “formal” meetings have taken place with any players over contracts but said regular discussions were ongoing between him, the directors and players.

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