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Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Thursday, 23 December 2010

Carlisle boss Greg Abbott keen to strengthen squad

Greg Abbott
Abbott has been in charge at Brunton Park since November 2008

Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott is hoping to be active when the transfer window re-opens next month.

Abbott has already made plans for a replacement if highly-rated young striker Gary Madine leaves in January.

"We're ready for it if it does happen." Abbott told BBC Radio Cumbria. "I want a better squad like any manager would.

"What I've seen over the last six to eight weeks is that we can't rest on our laurels. There's still work to be done and still room for improvement."

Madine, 20, has attracted the interest of several higher division clubs after scoring 13 times in 25 appearances for the Cumbrians this season.

If I have gone to the board with something that they think is going to improve us, then I fight my case and they have generally been very good with that

Greg Abbott

Abbott this week admitted there had been "lots" of interest in the Gateshead-born forward.

The Cumbrians are also looking for a left-back with Sean McDaid ruled-out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Abbott said: "What we want to try to do is make sure we have got a squad that is continuing to take the club forward by the end of the transfer window.

"If that means some shuffling around with players in and out then we will do it but the equation has to add up and financially it all has to be married in.

"There is not a great deal of money to throw at it."

Despite not having a big budget to play with in January, Abbott said he was still hopeful that funds would be made available for the right players.

"If I have gone to the board with something that they think is going to improve us, then I fight my case and they have generally been very good with that."

Abbott said he was still unsure as to where the immediate futures of midfielder Marc Bridge-Wilkinson and forward Jason Price lie with both players currently out on-loan at Darlington and Bradford City respectively.

"I have not spoken to anybody about any of the players," he confirmed.

"If players who haven't been playing regularly are offered regular football elsewhere then I would have to offer it to them. If that happened we would put that finance back into improving what we have got."

The Cumbrians are keen to extend the deals of Leeds loan pair Lubomir Michalik and Mike Grella in January along with Manchester United defender James Chester and Stoke City winger Ben Marshall.

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