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Capital reward for Cumbrians

26 September 2012

Carlisle face Tottenham in the Capital One Cup – and to the delight of the club’s much-travelled fans, the Wednesday night tie is at home

Carlisle United’s band of loyal supporters, one of England’s most-travelled sets of fans as they as they trek up and down the country from Cumbria to follow their team, have a nice juicy home fixture to savour when Premier League Tottenham Hotspur visit Brunton Park for a Capital One Cup third round tie on Wednesday evening.

Greg Abbott’s npower League 1 team have earned the glamour tie after knocking Championship team Ipswich Town out in the last round, but the manager is particularly pleased for the supporters. Abbott told “Spurs at home is a dream tie for everybody concerned with Carlisle United, and it’s a great reward especially for the fans who travel thousands of miles every season to watch us.

“We had 951 fans at Coventry for our 2-1 win there on Saturday, and we even get hundreds following us when we play at places like Bournemouth and Colchester [both round trips of over 700 miles]. It will be lovely for those fans to be at a home match to watch a top draw Premier League team with some fantastic players on view.”

Carlisle will head into the game on the back of a five-match unbeaten League and Cup run while their opponents, after a slow start to the campaign, have won their last two top flight fixtures and will be looking to progress in a competition which they won for the fourth time in 2008 and were runners-up – for the third time – a year later.

The best League Cup effort by the Cumbrians came in 1969/70, when they reached the semi-finals, and 42 years later the expectation among most football followers is that they will exit this time round on Wednesday night. And Abbott, optimistic but pragmatic, said: “We are under no illusions about the task that we’re facing.

“Tottenham are a massive club with a great League Cup history and they’ll want to keep that going. They’ve got 25 to 30 top class players to choose from and I’m sure they’ll come here with a very strong team – they’ll see this competition as a route into Europe for next season and they’ll be taking this match very seriously.

“But we are really looking forward to the game, which in a sense is a bonus because in the last round we beat Ipswich in extra time after being a goal down with only a minute of normal time left. We got a great reward for that win and it could be the same if we beat Tottenham, so we’ll give it our best shot and hopefully go through.”

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