Greg Abbott on the Pools win
The Boxing Day victory over Hartlepool brought a welcome home victory for all concerned at Brunton Park as manager Greg Abbott admitted that recent results had been preying on his mind during his post-match press conference.
“Credit to the players for the way they approached things today,” he said. “This was probably the toughest game I’ve had as a manager, for a lot of reasons.
“If the result hadn’t gone the way we wanted it to then we would have lost a lot of belief outside of the dressing room. That’s how big it was for us.”
And on his subdued family celebrations the day before, he added: “It was Christmas Day, and you should switch off and spend time with family, but for the first time on a day before a game I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“I didn’t enjoy the day at all, but it’s behind us and I fully intend to go home now and give the family the attention they deserve.
“Literally every ten minutes I was thinking about the implications of us losing the game and I had to convince myself that it wouldn’t happen. I honestly didn’t think we would, because of the way we played at Shrewsbury and because I genuinely think we’re a decent team. That didn’t stop it being a tough day for me because I was desperate for the lads to get out there and show everyone what they can do.”
“I knew that a defeat in this one would have been a catastrophe,” he continued. “The players dug deep because there has been a fear in our home performances due to the situation we have put ourselves in. The goals were important and it was the first time in a long time that we’ve had a little bit of luck in that area.
“The first two goals were awful ... but they’re fantastic when it’s your side that has scored them. We haven’t had too many like that for a long, long time. We’ve been on the wrong end of them so it’s nice for them to go our way for a change.”
“I’ve been through the ringer these last few weeks and I don’t mind admitting that,” he said. “I’m a proud person and I want to do well for the club, the board, the fans and for everybody who has anything to do with Carlisle United.
“I knew how big this was because the run at home has been so poor. Things are starting to look up for us though because JP McGovern has had his best two games since Lee Miller came back into the side. Frank Simek is looking something like his best again, and we are getting improved performances all over the pitch.”
With home wins hard to come by, the United boss explained that there has been an element of fear which has affected the way his players have performed in front of their own crowd.
“I think the lads were able to play without that little bit of fear in this one simply because the goals came for us on this occasion. It wasn’t a fluent performance by any means but we did play some decent stuff. That comes with confidence and results, and hopefully we’ll put a few of those together so that we can push on.”
“The short term goal is to get out of this situation and then we can start to look longer term,” he continued. “I think we’ve got some decent players here and hopefully the results will start to reflect that.
“There were some good individual performances but I don’t want to talk about that. This result was about a club being united and together. We needed everyone to be pulling in the right direction and we got it. That was important.”
“The clean sheet was magnificent for us,” he told us. “I’ve forgotten what to say to the back four because it’s been so long since we had one! Joking aside, they know they owed us one of those, in the nicest possible way, because we’ve put a bit of pressure on them. 3-0 is probably the perfect score line for everyone, so we’re happy all round.
“I had to do the warm up for this one because Kav [Graham Kavanagh] has been struggling with a virus. He hasn’t been well at all but, hopefully, he’ll be back with us soon.”
“The message to the lads now is that we have to keep this going,” he concluded. “It’s a good result but we need another ten or twelve of these before we can even think about being happy bunnies.
“We’ve talked about owing people and we are still in debt to the fans by a long way. We’re very much in the red because they have been doing their part all along. They’ve been outstanding for us and it’s nice that we’ve been able to give something back, especially at this time of year. However, we can’t let it rest here. This has to be just the start of it.”
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