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SWINDON TOWN: Abbott failed in Roberts bid
CARLISLE boss Greg Abbott made an attempt to sign Swindon’s Gary Roberts in the summer, but he was unable to even come close to competing with the Robins’ financial clout.
The Cumbrians manager revealed after his side’s 2-2 draw with Town that he spoke to the winger with regards to a potential move to Brunton Park when it became clear he was to leave Huddersfield at the end of the last season.
But when it came down to the money, Swindon blew Carlisle out of the water.
Abbott said: “We talked to Gary Roberts in the summer and I get on really, really well with Gary through his connections at Huddersfield and he sort of laughed and he said he would love to play for me but he said ‘Greg, we don’t need to talk figures do we?’ “I went ‘no Gaz, but I have to ring you up and ask you the question’.
“It was a ridiculous amount of money that he got and just shows you where they are compared to us. Finances dictate and we lost out, not just by a little bit, by an absolute country mile.”
Abbott was pleased his side claimed a point against the visiting Robins, and he admitted he was somewhat jealous of his opposite number Paolo Di Canio and the options at his disposal.
“Sometimes you’ve got to be realistic with the type of team you’re playing. It’s not me crying a poor tale but I just wish I had the resources that other people have got,” he said.
“Paolo’s had the pick of the best players in this league to put together because they can afford it and we haven’t. “But what we do is we group together, we make ourselves difficult to beat, we try our hardest, we’ve got kids on there on absolute peanuts playing against grown men, established League One and higher campaigners and they battle away and don’t give in.
“We’ve battled and scrapped for a point against a very, very strong team and squad because there was four or five changes from last week when I went to watch them and they can do that and the four or five changes they made would probably walk into most League One sides.”
The Carlisle manager said he expects Swindon to challenge right at the top of the division this season, once Di Canio and his players have become accustomed to the physical side of League One.
And he compared Town’s current crop of players to the Sheffield Wednesday team that were promoted automatically to the Championship in May.
“It won’t take long for Paolo to work out that you won’t be pretty all the way through this league,” he said.
“They’ve got to go to places like Bury, Carlisle, Oldham and Colchester and you’ve got to scrap and compete for your life.
“I went to watch them at Preston and that would have been a real serious message to Paolo that his team got bullied off the pitch, they couldn’t cope with the physical side of the game.
“He’ll learn and they’ll learn very, very quickly because that’s what football people do. They work out where they are, what they’re up against and then they play accordingly. Today they played long, they played tough and they played football when eventually they got the chance to but you have to earn that right and they did today – they were a good, good side.
“They’re typical of the Sheffield Wednesday-type teams from last year so they’ll be up and around it this season, I’ll tell you that for sure.”