Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Greg: We Can't Just Turn Up for Points

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Greg: We Can't Just Turn Up for Points

Article excerpt

Byline: James Hunter ? (0191) 201 6035 ?

GREG Abbott has warned his Carlisle players to avoid complacency at all costs as they prepare to face doomed Portsmouth this afternoon.

The Cumbrians make the long journey to the South Coast to take on a Pompey side that has gone 20 games without a win in all competitions - losing 15 out of their last 19 games in the league - and currently sit next to bottom of League One, ten points from safety.

And it was only by securing a goalless draw at Hartlepool on Tuesday to avoid a tenth successive defeat that Guy Whittingham's side ensured they remain a point above bottom side Pool.

As if their on-field problems are not bad enough, Portsmouth have been in administration for a year and are understood to have debts of around PS61m, with their hopes of salvation pinned on a High Court hearing next Thursday which would clear the way for a supporters' trust to take over the club.

But despite Pompey's dire situation, Cumbrians manager Abbott insists 16thplaced Carlisle cannot afford to simply turn up at Fratton Park and expect to collect the points.

He said: "This is a tough one and it's one we have to approach in exactly the right frame of mind. 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.

"I got the lads together before training on 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.

"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.

"We all know about next Thursday [the High Court hearing] and the off-field stuff, but on the pitch it's about the football and about a [Portsmouth] team scrapping for their lives to stay in this division. …

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