Greg Abbott urges bruised squad to bounce back

GREG ABBOTT insists his Carlisle squad is determined to make amends after their six-match unbeaten home run came to an end this week.

Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott
Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott

GREG ABBOTT insists his Carlisle squad is determined to make amends after their six-match unbeaten home run came to an end this week.

The Cumbrians’ 3-0 reverse at the hands of Walsall on Tuesday night was their first defeat at Brunton Park since Christmas, and left the home fans deflated.

Carlisle go into this afternoon’s game against Notts County at Meadow Lane on the back of a four-game winless streak, and Abbott finds himself once again looking for a reaction from his players.

“Tuesday night hurt us, there’s no getting away from that,” the Carlisle boss said. “We’d worked very hard on tightening things up and on being much harder to beat here at home, and the level of performance took us by surprise a little bit.

“There were a lot of very glum faces in the dressing room because we didn’t like that at all.

“The frustration from the fans was understandable because we all felt the same.

“The home run was something we wanted to protect and we didn’t make life anywhere near hard enough for Walsall to achieve that. We said on Tuesday it wasn’t acceptable because what we don’t want is for performances like that to affect confidence.

“It won’t be easy at Notts County but, like I say, there’s a determination in the group to bounce back from what happened the other night.

“Hopefully that’s what we’ll do.”

County beat Carlisle 4-0 at Brunton park in October, but a poor run of just two wins in 11 games in December and January saw manager Keith Curle pay the price at the beginning of February as the Magpies slipped into mid-table.

Chris Kiwomya has been put in charge until the end of the season, and Abbott knows his side will have their work cut out against a County side sitting in tenth place, but only nine points outside the play-off spots.

He said: “Notts County will still have an eye on making the play-off places and they need the results for their own reasons.

“They’ve had a difficult time of late but Chris has steadied things down and they’ve become a hard team to beat again.”

Abbott has hinted at a change in formation from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3, which could see skipper Paul Thirlwell return, possibly at the expense of wide man Dave Symington.

 
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