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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Improving Carlisle Utd will rise up the league, says boss Abbott

Greg Abbott today declared that Carlisle United are setting their sights firmly on mid-table – and banishing their relegation worries for good.

Greg Abbott photo
Greg Abbott

The United manager believes the Blues now have a golden opportunity to ease any lingering fears of a battle at the wrong end of League One.

Abbott is encouraged by improving form which has seen Carlisle lose just twice in their last six games.

And the Cumbrians’ boss insists his team have found some long-awaited resilience which can now lead them further away from danger.

“If we can now pick up three or four wins we can end up in 11th or 12th and start playing without any fear, or worries about looking over our shoulder,” he said. “Three wins and a draw from our last four home games is decent enough form.

“We’ve got to start winning away now and turn the tables there.

“We have had a few things going against us this season but when all things are equal, I think we are ok.”

After their 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe on Saturday, United are now preparing for arguably their toughest test so far – a trip to leaders Tranmere.

The 17th-placed Blues have tightened up at the back since mid-December – other than the 4-0 defeat at Swindon – and Abbott said his side are now no longer pushovers. Carlisle suffered a string of heavy defeats from the autumn onwards but bounced back from conceding the opener against Scunthorpe.

Abbott said: “It’s important that if you come up against some disappointment, you deal with it.

“When you concede, it’s vital that you don’t concede another, which is what we were doing at home earlier in the season.

“At times we found ourselves two or three behind and the game was finished. At one, you’ve always got a chance. At the end of the [Scunthorpe] game we were the team that looked fresh, fit and strong. That’s testament to the fitness levels and application of the players.”

Abbott will monitor closely the progress of his injured trio Chris Chantler (ankle), Mike Edwards (hamstring) and Peter Murphy (calf) ahead of the Tranmere trip. Both Edwards and Murphy are stepping up their strength and running work and hope to be on the brink of a comeback by the end of the week. Chantler, who also missed the Scunthorpe draw, is aiming to be back in contention for the clash with Ronnie Moore’s pacesetters.

United will host Carlisle City in the Cumberland Cup quarter finals on Tuesday February 19.

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