"We really appreciate the way we were looked after at Kendal and here, and we hope to be able to do this every year"

United boss Greg Abbott (GA) spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria's James Phillips (JP) following Carlisle's 5-0 pre-season friendly win away to Workington, Abbott saying that the fitness levels for the Blues at the moment are a similar story to last year :

 

JP

How happy are you with that second friendly display from your boys?

GA

Well, we have been pleased since the day they have come back. It is a similar story to last year, you look at the way they come back, the fitness levels they have, and then the work we have done on the training ground up to press has been decent. I thought we were pretty good against Kendal and they give you a sort of guide to where you are, the opposition is a little bit tougher tonight and I think we have been excellent again tonight. So, all things being equal we are reasonably pleased with where we are at the moment.

 

 

JP

An even more emphatic scoreline against a slightly higher standard of opposition, does that show the hard work or is that just the way football goes?

GA

I thought we were dominant tonight, certainly second-half we were really incisive, we had a real edge to our game. There is some quality out there you know in the pitch and I think we dominated the game and we looked really bright mid-third and the top third and caused a lot of problems. Really Workington who would probably be tiring, they probably haven't had as much work as we have had and then your goals stack up. But, we are in a good place with what we are seeing at the minute.

 

 

JP

Speaking about problems, your trialists are giving you some good problems aren't they with the way they are playing again tonight?

GA

Yeah, I mean they have all done alright, they have all done really, really well, not alright, really, really well. I think I have got a lot of problems at the minute because even players that even last season were pushing and staking claims have done really well as well. Then you have got the performances of our young players coming through who have been impressive as well. So, you should say I shouldn't sleep well but really I can sleep a lot better because they are better problems than searching for a team and a squad. But, at the minute everybody to a man near enough is doing really, really well and that is a great thing for a manager.

 

 

JP

You have given professional contracts to a handful of players for the first time here, the likes of (David) Symington, (Brad) Potts, (Josh) Todd and (Mark) Beck as well, Beck has got two goals in two pre-season games for you and Symington got two in one half?

GA

Yeah, I mean, listen, they are key to maybe our success certainly financially going forward is to try to get some of these youngsters into the team and develop them and make sure they have an impact with us and then maybe go on to bigger and better things and make the club a nice amount of money. But, that is way off at the minute, they are at the start, they have had a good start and we have high hopes for them and we will see how they progress. But, really tonight from that age group right up to your senior players, very, very good.

 

 

JP

(Jonathan) Meades as well as a left-back, clearly left-footed, you deployed him at right-back tonight and he has shown some versatility?

GA

He is not actually left-footed, he is equally as good, he says he is actually predominantly right-footed and who has played all his career on the left. But, he is not sure which is his best foot and I think we are saying they are both as bad as each other.

 

 

JP

(Alessio) Bugno and (Dale) Hopson again doing well, I won't go into too much detail because I know you have got to make decisions. Two new trialists in though, Mark Kerr coming in for you and looking good in the centre of the park, (Jim) McAlister set up the first goal but the ball didn't seem to find him as much on the pitch?

GA

Yeah, I think Alessio has got to give him a bit more ball there. We played through the middle rather than out wide a little bit first-half and Paul (Thirlwell) and Mark were dominating possession and Paddy (Madden) who was lively throughout but didn't really have as much chance to run at his full-back and the same with Jimmy. So, that is something we need to work on, if we can't through the middle then we need to go out wide and mix it up a bit. But, yeah, he has only been with us two days so he will be really pleased with himself as well.

 

 

JP

Will you make any decisions on any trialists do you think before the weekend's match or might they get that next match to show what they can do?

GA

I am not making any rushed decisions because I have been really pleased with them. I am hoping they are all around on Saturday so we can have another three days training and another game on Saturday before we are pushed into action to make decisions.

 

 

JP

And I know it is a very busy period in terms of trialists, any more likely to be coming through ahead of that game?

GA

Er, very doubtful, I mean I think now we have got what we want. We think we know what we are looking for, we are really pleased with what we have got and we will try to search, whether it be through one of the trialists or through another avenue to make the squad as strong as it can be. But, you had Rory Loy and Lee Miller not even playing, nor Jon-Paul McGovern tonight, so we are in decent order at the minute.

 

 

JP

Loy looks in good shape, but it is all about first-team touch, but he looks in good shape and hopefully raring to go once he gets that chance?

GA

Yeah, the pair of them, Rory and Lee have had a fair spell out, Rory more than Lee, and are just feeling the effects of ten really tough days work. So, they will be OK by Thursday hopefully and back in the frame and get some pitch time on Saturday, certainly Lee will.

 

 

JP

You touched on in your previous answer, I must pick up on that, other avenues potentially, are you close to anything else in terms of players coming in?:

GA

No, not close to anything at the minute. A couple of avenues we have chased have sort of closed down, they may open up, things are changing every day. But, you are looking, it is a difficult job at the minute because we are looking to bring in better than what we have got and at the minute I think that might cost us quite a bit of money because out there at the minute we have got some really, really decent players.

 

 

JP

It would take some money to better some of them?

GA

Exactly, and that is the problem I have got, we know where we are, I know what area I am working in financially and looking at what I am seeing at the minute on the pitch it is going to take another find, we are going to have to make another find. Because, when players aren't performing or you have not got the greatest of squads it is easy to find players to improve yourself.

But, at the minute we have got to find a quality out there that is better than what we have got. You look at the mid-three, or the quality we have got in midfield, you look at the quality we have got upfront and we have got to try to find somebody better than that at the money that I have available. It is a free transfer on wages only so it is going to be very difficult.

 

 

JP

Yeah, but what you have got out there, I hope the fans are as excited as I am because it is looking good at the moment, but early doors?

GA

Yeah, I think everybody is positive about what is going on and they have every right to be. But, it is only early and we haven't got any points on the board yet, so if we are sitting after ten games with seven or eight wins and a couple of draws then we are making a fantastic fist of what we have got to do. But, we aren't there yet so more hard work to be done from everybody.

 

 

JP

And just finally on Workington, I mean you started with Kendal, you have got Barrow on Saturday, it is a step up each game in terms of your opposition, great to have this right on your doorstep with the Cumbrian clubs?

GA

Yeah, and I think the camaraderie between all the teams now in our area, we are trying to make it happen, Darren (Edmondson) and myself, Lee Ashcroft and myself and hopefully the link and the bond is strong. Listen, it is all about Cumbria, everybody wants everybody in Cumbria to do well and hopefully the people here have respected what we have done. We really appreciate the way we were looked after at Kendal and here, and we hope to be able to do this every year.