Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Players Backing Abbott for the Top Job; Pool Look to Dent Hopes

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Players Backing Abbott for the Top Job; Pool Look to Dent Hopes

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Gilder

ZIGOR Aranalde has urged Carlisle's directors to make Gregg Abbott's position permanent and insists the standin boss can deliver Championship football to Cumbria.

But Hartlepool manager Danny Wilson wants to dent his opposite number's growing reputation this evening as he attempts to get his own club's season back on track.

Tonight's game at Victoria Park will see two teams separated by a point in League One go head-to-head - with Carlisle having overtaken the home side in the table following Saturday's 3-1 win at Bournemouth.

The result has helped Abbott's efforts to become Neil McDonald's full-time successor and Aranalde is hoping his appointment will be confirmed soon. "Gregg Abbott has been fantastic," said the Spanish defender, who has played an important role in Carlisle's rise to fourth place in the League One table in recent weeks.

"The players would be more than happy for him to get the job. We're all happy with him - if you see the team fighting hard for each other, that's the reason behind it."

McDonald was sacked one game into the season and although the Tynesider's departure came as a major shock, he has not been missed at Brunton Park.

"No one could believe it, it happened all of a sudden," said Aranalde, a player determined to focus on the future. "We cannot be thinking about what happened, we just have to keep battling for the club.

"The spirit here is fantastic and, if we keep performing as we have been doing, we can go as far as we want to go. We've got a difficult game at Hartlepool and we have to keep going, but the sooner the decision is made the better it will be for everyone."

Abbott is keen to win the position on a permanent basis and the 43-year-old knows that having Carlisle's players on his side cannot harm his ambitions.

"I hope the powers that be, the people above me, were watching the Bournemouth game and seeing how the players were playing for me," he said. "It will be hard for them not to give me the job if we keep playing like that. …

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