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INTERVIEW: Immense amount of class

13 September 2013

Graham Kavanagh on a difficult start to the week

Caretaker manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us on Wednesday evening about what had been an emotional farewell with friend and former-boss Greg Abbott, having sat at his right hand through just over four years of emotional highs and lows.

“It’s been a very difficult week,” he said. “We can take that back to Saturday and the negative ending to that game through a silly mistake.

“The consequence of that, and of the couple of months which went before, was that the manager left his job on Monday. There’s no two ways about it - that was a very emotional moment for us all.” 

“We were all gathered together in the dressing room and he came in to tell us what was going on,” he explained. “He was very emotional about the situation and his partner, Sally, was up here so we could see that she was very upset as well. 

“Seeing how much it affects everybody isn’t nice. I worked very closely with him so I probably felt it even more. I saw first hand how much he put into this job and how determined he was to put things right. I know how much he really wanted to make the situation better. 

“It’s disappointing that it has gone this way but we have to put it behind us as quickly as we can and move on. One of the last things Greg said to us was that he wanted us to go out and get a result on Saturday. Hopefully that’s what will happen. That will help him to put his time at Carlisle to bed and it would be good for the lads if they could do that for him.”

“From my own point of view, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with him,” he told us. “First and foremost he is an absolutely fantastic man and he is a very good manager. I hope he will be remembered for all of the good he has done for the club rather than the last difficult run of results.

“We had a very good working relationship and we got on outside of the job as much as we did when we were in work. That isn’t to say that we always agreed about everything, because we didn’t, but everything we talked about was for the good of the team and the club.

“I always respected that he was the manager and he always respected my opinion. It was very much a two-way thing and I always thought it was a successful working relationship which became stronger as we both grew into our roles. 

“It’s just really disappointing that the last six games and the tail end of last season have affected the way people perceived him as a manager. If you look at his record, and what he has achieved under very difficult circumstances, then you see he’s done a remarkable job.” 

“We felt we would turn this round but Greg knows the price which has to be paid if results don’t come your way,” he continued. “The dignity and immense amount of class he showed in the way he left the club is an example to all of us. You get some managers who don’t come anywhere near the club once something like this has happened but he conducted himself in a way everyone really appreciated.”

“Our job for the rest of the week is to get the lads ready to go,” he concluded. “The response from them to a very tough set of circumstances has been magnificent. Hopefully they’ll take that onto the pitch with them at the weekend.”

We’ll have more from Graham Kavanagh about the game on Saturday, and about the immediate future, on the official website on Friday morning.

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