Carden has been assistant manager at the Abbey for a year
Cambridge United player-assistant boss Paul Carden says he would have to consider his future at the club if he were asked to quit his coaching role.
The 30-year-old has been in temporary charge of the Us since the sacking of manager Gary Brabin but has ruled himself out of applying for the job.
He told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: "To suddenly go back to a sole playing role would be quite hard.
"Certainly at this club it would be hard to stay on in a playing capacity."
The midfielder was appointed player/assistant manager when Brabin took over as boss in the summer of 2008. The pair, who are good friends, led the Us to a second-place finish in the Blue Square Premier and a play-off final defeat.
He said: "I feel I'm too young [to apply for the manager's job]. I had a good season in terms of management combined with the playing last season.
"I couldn't take my eye off one job to do another and that's what that entails. In two or three years' time it might have been different."
Cambridge are continuing the hunt for a manager, with Hampton and Richmond boss Alan Devonshire, former Us assistant manager Alan Lewer, ex-Leyton Orient chief Martin Ling and former Ebbsfleet assistant manager Alan Kimble all linked to the position.
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