"I don't see any problem in us having a couple of new faces at least before the start of the season"

United boss Greg Abbott (GA) spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria's Paul Newton (PN) at Thursday's open training day for the local media, Abbott first talking about the commencement of pre-season training for the Blues :

 

GA

It is always a good day on the first day, you can always get a good feeling and today is no different. The lads are ready, they have all listened to what we have had to say, we had a really powerful meeting first thing, a good 20 minutes where we talked about we needed to be doing and where we need to go in terms of what we achieved last year and what we need to do this year. The players are really receptive and then you are training, and they are all ready to run and work hard and get themselves fit for what we know is going to be another tough campaign.

 

 

PN

How quickly have the two new boys so far, Mike Edwards and Danny Cadamarteri, settled in?

GA

Er, it took Danny about 30 seconds and it took Mike about a minute and a half. Danny has never shut up since he has been in, so he is going to be another live wire in the dressing room. He wants to do well, he knows he has got things to prove for himself and he wants to come here and improve what we have done, he knows what we are as a club.

Mike knows all about us, again, has come to make an improvement and finish, or at the back end of his career try to achieve something and win something. So, they are two good lads, they are 30-years old plus, so they know what the game is all about and they know how to integrate into dressing rooms. I am sure we will see and hear a lot of them over the coming season.

 

 

PN

And Jon-Paul McGovern back with the squad today?

GA

Yeah, J-P is back, again ready and as enthusiastic as ever, he loves his training, loves his football and that is where he is so we will crack on with that.

 

 

PN

And as far as you are concerned it is business as usual with J-P?

GA

Yeah, I mean it is always that is the case, there are always going to be enquiries and interest in your players, and it is no different to some of the others that I have had interest with. But, they are my players, they are our players, we crack on with what we have got and if anything changes then we deal with that as and when it comes. But, I am comfortable at the moment with where we are.

 

 

PN

Five trialists with you today, what can you tell us about them?

GA

Not a lot at the minute, but they are all really keen to be here, that all want to show us what they can do. We had a surprise with Francois (Zoko) two years ago didn't we where we didn't know much about him and the same agent has brought another player in, so we see where they are at. They will all get part of the football next Friday (at Kendal) so everybody will see them, and we will see how they compare with the players that are already in. If they are better then we deal with that.

 

 

PN

I guess Alessio Bugno is going to attract attention just because of the fact he is an Italian coming over here as well, is that a similar route in a sense of how Francois eventually came to you?

GA

Well, it is the same agent, so we trusted the agent and he has been good to us while Francois has been here. So, he just said this lad is left-sided, he is a good size, he is quite a good player, if he is as good as Francois then it turns out it is a winner. But, they are paying their own way, they are paying all the fares and all their accommodation while they are here, so we absolutely lose nothing by integrating them into the training for nine days. If he shows me he is better than what we have got then we deal with it, if not then we look in our shores and see if we can find that player that is going to make us better from home.

 

 

PN

How intense are the next few weeks going to be for the squad?

GA

Well, yesterday and today, I know you stayed around a little bit and you saw the old fella joining in. So, it wasn't too bad today but I did quickly dip out when you had gone, I did a great job while the cameras were here but disappeared when it got a bit more intense. But, today and tomorrow is a feeler and get the legs going and get the rustiness out from the summer.

We start upping the ante next week, there are three afternoon session out of five, plus the game at Kendal on Friday night. So, it is a tough week and the week after that and the week after that, those two weeks will be really intense work where they will have a base and we can really let fly with them. Hopefully we get the right work into them and it sets us up nicely for the season.

 

 

PN

And a couple more players signed up to deals this week, James Berrett and Frank Simek?

GA

Yeah, I mean terrific, we think a lot of Frank and James has been a big player scoring double figure goals from midfield, and if he had taken penalties this season then he might have been into 14 or 15 goals, so that would have been a magnificent return. So, the right lines, on the right lines with those two to go with what we have already got, and hopefully we can maybe wrap up a couple more and look forward to the season with great optimism.

 

 

PN

Frank's is just a one-year deal, what was the thinking behind that?

GA

Well, Frank is in a situation where eventually he might return to his homeland, he might want to try other things. It is a one-year deal with an option, we will explore the option when it comes. It works to safeguard both player and club, he is a very honest lad so he will let me know in due course whether he is going to take up the option further down the road. But, it keeps it open and there is an honesty between Frank and myself, so it is not an issue, if he wants to stay and he plays his games he will get the contract and if he wants to try elsewhere he will let me know early and we will look forward to replacing him, that is the way it is.

 

 

PN

Peter Murphy back training today but still the one outstanding player to put pen to paper?

GA

Yeah, we are going to talk to Murph obviously now we are back face-to-face, it is better than doing it over the phone, and try to just tidy up the issues that he has got, and then hopefully that will sort itself out by Monday.

 

 

PN

And something you alluded to a moment ago, maybe the possibility of strengthening the squad, how is that faring at the moment?

GA

Erm, pretty good, and my phone judging by the way it has rang the last two days will be ready for me when I get back to the ground. There are a lot of people now that should be training with clubs, aren't training with clubs, haven't got clubs and are starting to get a little bit anxious. You start getting names thrown at you quite regularly throughout the day so we will check that and then check the moves that we have made on players already and see where decision making is and see where progress has been made. But, I don't see any problem in us having a couple of new faces at least before the start of the season.

 

 

PN

And you were hoping to meet with a player this week, has that happened?

GA

It has happened, and it was a very good meeting and he was very impressed, he is speaking to three clubs, he spoke to one on Wednesday, one today (Thursday) and then he has one on Friday, but he says he wants to be training with a club next Monday. So, that will take its course over the weekend and we will see where that goes, but he did like what we had to say and the very fact that he could come here and hopefully get his football that he desperately needs.