Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Abbott 'Hurt' after Defeat

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Abbott 'Hurt' after Defeat

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE CORRY

FOLLOWING their first four games Carlisle rightly received the plaudits merited by a successful start to their season, writes MIKE CORRY.

And while the euphoria has gathered momentum under the tutelage of caretaker manager Gregg Abbott, it was only a matter of time before a less than satisfactory performance would put things into perspective.

While Carlisle have performed admirably defensively, with the only goal conceded before this game coming on the opening day of the season, an Achilles heel had been increasingly evident given the lack of goals at the other end.

And with the visit of one of the better sides in League One, the Cumbrians would get a realistic indication of their level early in the campaign.

Alas, the players who faced Tranmere were a shadow of the team that had climbed to joint top spot, capitulating to the Merseysiders with little more than a whimper.

Any player can have an off day, but when half the team deliver less than adequate performances, a recipe for under-achievement is in place. Frankly Carlisle were appalling on the day.

They lacked any quality where it mattered in the final third and were ripe for the taking if they were less than diligent at the back, with the killer goal coming on cue on the back of their only defensive mistake of the afternoon.

The defeat left Abbott disappointed but not deflated. He said: "If any of the supporters think they are hurting, they are not hurting as much as me. I don't like losing. So you could say I'm quite down, not despondent, but it hurts very much.

"We didn't get on to the second balls or press the game high enough and the goal was a lapse in concentration. We failed to do the horrible, ugly things I've talked about.

"You have to do the things that involve work rate, desire and determination to win the battles on the pitch and we didn't do that first half and couldn't break them down after the goal. We had a lot of the play second half but we couldn't find that killer ball or bit of clever play and that's disappointing. …

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