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INTERVIEW: The right frame of mind

15 February 2013

Manager on the Portsmouth trip

Manager Greg Abbott spoke to us about the trip to Portsmouth at the weekend.

He said: “It’s a long one for us but I think that’s part of the job description for anything to do with Carlisle United.

“As a group of staff and players, and it’s exactly the same for our fans, we’re all used to the fact that very few games can be described as ‘just round the corner’ for us. What we do is make sure the players have prepared properly so that the journey becomes part of the build-up to the game.”

“This is a tough one and it’s one we have to approach in exactly the right frame of mind,” he added. “They’re due a win and, when it’s a situation like this, you know for a fact that they will be doing everything they can to get it.

“Guy [Whittingham] will use the result from Tuesday night as an example of what they can do and they’ll be really fired up. They have some fantastic fans down there and they will shout and cheer for everything. 

“I’ve seen Portsmouth twice recently and on both occasions their support was out of this world. We all know about next Thursday and the off-field stuff, but on the pitch it’s about the football and about a team scrapping for their lives to stay in this division. 

“They have some really good players in the squad and the way they have had to do things this season means you can never be too sure about what you’re going to get. They have lost games but it’s been by the odd goal on a lot of occasions, and there’s a feeling down there that they just need that win, however they can get it, and then they’ll be able to build again. We have to make sure that it doesn’t come against us.

“I got the lads together before training yesterday, and that’s unusual for a Thursday, to make sure that the message about this game has sunk in. If we go there thinking it’s just a case of turning up then we’ll lose, it really is as simple as that. Like I say, Portsmouth have some really good players at their disposal and they’ll push us all the way. 

“We have spoken about Tuesday night and what we don’t want is for us to let the bad habits creep back in. We’ve had a good run of results and we know we let ourselves down, particularly in the first half. There were positives to take from it, because we got ourselves back into the game and we were much better after the break, but we have to get out there on Saturday and show everyone we are still a good team.

“It’s another one to look forward to and hopefully we’ll give the fans who make the trip plenty to smile about.”

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