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INTERVIEW: Good selection problems

1 February 2013

Manager ahead of the Tranmere trip

United manager Greg Abbott spoke to us about a range of issues ahead of the trip to Tranmere at the weekend.

“The transfer window has been and gone now and the good news is that we’re still as strong as we were this time yesterday,” he said.

“I’m not a fan of the transfer window at all. I think agents who were calling us about a month ago will have come away feeling very frustrated at League One and Two level. 

“They’re starting to see the picture unravel now. There isn’t a great deal of money around and the whole thing is shambolic, to be honest with you.”

“It’s a restriction on trade and clubs across the board in the lower leagues don’t have funds available for just one period,” he explained. 

“Sometimes you get lucky with a cup run and you can do something, as was the case with Oldham, but other than that it’s difficult. 

“The sooner the transfer window is done away with, the better. We want to be on a level playing field and the only way to really achieve that is to allow us to do our business all year round. The emergency loan window opens next week and that’s where you’ll see a lot of clubs start to do their business.”

On the visit to meet the table-toppers, he added: “Tranmere have had four or five years of struggle and this is a jackpot season for them. 

“Ronnie Moore, for me, is manager of the year for what he has achieved. He’s been absolutely outstanding. 

“I suppose what they have to do now is manage expectation and sustainability between now and the end of the season. If they don’t make it this year then they’ll be expected to walk it next year. If they do make it then that will be great for them, and they’ll have the difficulty of dealing with big clubs in the Championship.”

“Their whole club needs a massive pat on the back for what they’ve done up to now,” he said. “They’ve been by far and away the success story of this season. 

“We’ve had seasons like this where we’ve got into the play-offs or we’ve been there or thereabouts. It’s all about working as hard as you possibly can and eventually it pays off. That’s what has happened for them.”

“They are a very organised side which is well equipped to take on League One at the moment,” he told us. “They’ve got momentum and confidence flowing right through the team and we have to deal with that. 

“It won’t be easy but we think we’ve got enough to go there and impose ourselves if we do things properly. We have to give them the respect they deserve but we also have to remember that we’re a good side as well.”

“We go there with an almost full squad, which is good for us,” he said. “Mike Edwards and Peter Murphy have both trained for the last two days so they are in contention. Chris Chantler isn’t quite there yet, so he’s the one we will have to wait and see with. 

“We’ve got some good selection problems with the way players have come in and responded but that’s a nice position for us to be in. We like our system and the way we play, but we have other options now that we’re getting everybody fit. 

“Looking at the table this will be a tough game, but we wouldn’t expect anything less. It’s definitely one we can all look forward to.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Greg Abbott now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

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