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Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Sunday, 28 March 2010 21:38 UK

Greg Abbott rues defensive mistakes in JPT final loss

By Stephan Shemilt at Wembley

Alan Pardew (l) and Greg Abbott
Abbott (r) congratulates Saints boss Alan Pardew after the final whistle

Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott conceded that defensive errors cost his side in their 4-1 Johnstone's Trophy final defeat by Southampton at Wembley.

Goals from Ricky Lambert, Adam Lallana, Papa Waigo and Michail Antonio saw the Saints romp into a 4-0 lead before Gary Madine scored a late consolation goal.

"Without taking anything away from the Saints we contributed to our own downfall," said Abbott.

"We made individual errors for the goals," reflected the 46-year-old.

Abbott added: "We played some decent football in the midfield area and passed it quite nicely at times, but the game is about what you do in your own box and your opponents' box and they were better than us."

Southampton have come to win a cup final and won it in style

Greg Abbott

Carlisle more than matched the Saints in the early part of the game, but went behind from Lambert's penalty after defender Peter Murphy needlessly handled in the box.

"We were giving as good as we were getting until the first goal," added Abbott. "But conceding changes the way that you're playing and the way that everyone looks at the game.

"It was a penalty, it's a simple as that. I think he was more worried about where Lambert was rather than concentrating on the ball and for some reason he's put his hand up and clawed one out of the sky."

United had chances to equalise when still only one goal down, but saw Ian Harte's header hit the top of the cross bar and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson's long-range effort drop onto the roof of the net.

"We needed something to go for us," continued Abbott. "I'm not saying we were unlucky, but we needed something to give us a fighting chance.

"One of those chances would have given us that, but it didn't and we went on to conceed another sloppy goal."

That "sloppy goal" came on the stroke of half-time, when Antonio's long throw-in was flicked by Lambert into the path of Lallana, who headed in unchallanged from close range.

Then, just after the break, Evan Horwood failed to clear Lambert's cross allowing Antonio to shoot, with the save from Adam Collin falling to Waigo, who headed home.

Soon after, Antonio fired in from the edge of the box when the Cumbrians failed to clear a long free-kick, but Abbott did not believe the errors came as a result of his players being overawed by the occasion.


"If we were nervy or edgy, then we wouldn't have played the type of football that we did at times," said Abbott.

"If you make errors you are hopeful that they are not in a game like this and they don't have much affect. Today they were in a big game and they did affect us.

"We will look at our own failings, but to be fair to Southampton they have come to win a cup final and won it in style.

"Now we look to pick up on our league form and end the season on a high."

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see also
Carlisle United 1-4 Southampton
28 Mar 10 |  Football
Sunday football as it happened
28 Mar 10 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
28 Mar 10 |  Football
Carlisle United in Wembley final
10 Feb 10 |  Front Page
Southampton 3-1 MK Dons (agg 4-1)
09 Feb 10 |  Football

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