GREG Abbott says revenge will be the last thing on his mind as his Carlisle United side take on Charlton Athletic this afternoon.
The Cumbrians were thrashed 4-0 at The Valley six weeks ago when the sides met in the league, and this afternoon they go head-to-head once more in the FA Cup second round.
But Abbott insists that it is the carrot of a possible third-round glamour tie against a Premier League giant such as Manchester United that motivates him, rather than any thoughts of a revenge mission.
“We say it every time this competition comes around, we never get tired of the FA Cup,” said Abbott. “Every club in the second round dreams about a trip to face Manchester United or one of the other big boys, and we’re no different.
“It’s exciting for everyone if you can get through, and we’re certainly going there to try to achieve it.
“I’m not big on revenge, or anything like that, but we didn’t do ourselves any justice at all down there a few weeks ago, so what we want to do is go there and produce a much better performance.
“We have a duty to the fans because that last one was one where we let them down, and we want to put it right for them.”
Charlton are seven points clear at the top of League One and are favourites for promotion, while Carlisle are eighth and eyeing a play-off place.
The Cumbrians have lost just two of their last 11 games, with one of those defeats coming against Charlton.
Abbott’s men conceded 12 goals in six games in October, but since then they have tightened up significantly at the back.
They have now conceded just one goal in their last four matches in all competitions.
Abbott said: “We know that if we play like we can, and defend with the resilience and determination we have shown to bring us three clean sheets in the last four games, then we know we can cause problems.
“It’s one where we have to be right and we have to make sure we don’t give cheap goals away. We’re going to have to be at our best, but the key for us is to go there in a positive frame of mind.
“It’ll be a game where they are expected to win, but we can deal with that. With the geography involved it’s not the best draw we could have had, but it’s still a game for us to look forward to.
“We’re on a decent run at the moment and we want to keep it going. We’re into a very busy period and if we get to January and we’re still around that top eight, then people suddenly start to take notice.
“Saturday is FA Cup day, and it has its own excitement, so hopefully we’ll be in the hat for the draw when it gets to full-time.”
Frank Simek and Andy Welsh are both still out of action, but on-loan Manchester City man Chris Chantler will be on the bench along with Paddy Madden, who has now recovered from a broken metatarsal.
Abbott (pictured below) is expected to start with the same side that beat Colchester last weekend.
Meanwhile, Charlton boss Chris Powell insists a cup run will not distract his side from their promotion quest.
He said: “It bodes well for the club having a cup run along side your league form, it can do you the world of good.
“I don’t see why you would forfeit because I think you should try and win every game possible, and that’s what we do.
“Of course you can’t win all the cups but it is good to stay in the competition, as we’ve seen in the League Cup.
“Why not show people that you want to do well and progress? If we get to the third round you never know who could be visiting The Valley.”