Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Kavanagh Wins the Plaudits; New Coach Stars in Great Victory

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Kavanagh Wins the Plaudits; New Coach Stars in Great Victory

Article excerpt

Leeds United 0

Carlisle United 2

FORMER Sunderland star and new Carlisle player-coach Graham Kavanagh welcomed signing his 18-month contract with his best performance in a Blues' shirt at Elland Road on Saturday.

But he was left under no illusions as to the reception in store from the players.

Goalscorer Michael Bridges - a hero with Leeds until a horrific injury derailed his career during a Champions League game against Besiktas in 2000 - explained the dressing room reaction to the appointment after the game.

He said: "We have been taking the mickey constantly since he got the job. I told him that there is hope for us all if you can pick up a coaching appointment on the back of 12 tokens from a cornflakes packet."

The comments were quickly qualified as he added: "Kav is a real professional and the respect for him among the lads is massive. He has played the game at the highest levels, and people listen when he speaks because they know he has been there and done it. It's a fantastic appointment for the club."

Kavanagh was pushed for man-of-the match by on-loan Newcastle United keeper Tim Krul - as firm a favourite among the Brunton Park fans as any loan player can hope to be.

The Dutch Under-21 international, due to end his current spell in Cumbria after the MK Dons game next weekend, said: "It was a great day for me. I had a lot to do but I was prepared to work and I am happy to get another clean sheet."

The match marked only the second League One away win of the season for Greg Abbott's team and brought a third consecutive clean sheet for a team enjoying an upturn in fortunes. Bridges could and possibly should have opened the scoring in the seventh minute when a flick from Cleveland Taylor sent him one-on-one with Casper Ankergren.

With time to weigh up his options, he put his shot too close to the keeper and the chance went begging.

The Cumbrians have been guilty of retreating into their shells in the wake of such wastefulness earlier in the season, but they regrouped and soon had the lead their start to the game deserved. …

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