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New boy versus the head boy

5 October 2013

By Tony Leighton

The Football League's newest manager takes on the most experienced as rookie Carlisle United boss Graham Kavanagh takes his team to face Graham Turner's Shrewsbury Town for a Sky Bet League 1 meeting at the Greenhous Meadow.

Kavanagh, appointed on a permanent basis this week, has overseen three successive victories as caretaker and on Saturday will be aiming to make it four - in the process spoiling Turner's 66th birthday celebrations.

The former Republic of Ireland midfielder, 27 years Turner's junior, finished his playing career at Brunton Park and has taken over the managerial reins after being assistant boss to the recently dismissed Gregg Abbott.

Kavanagh told football-league.co.uk: "It's been a great start for me and we'll be going out for another win at Shrewsbury, but it's going to be difficult and the team's mindset has to be right - no-one can take anything for granted.

"Shrewsbury have some quality in their team and we have to show them every respect. We got a draw there last season in a tough contest and I'm expecting more of the same, but hopefully we can come out with the right result."

The outcomes have gone Kavanagh's way to date, wins against Sheffield United, Stevenage and Notts County in his caretaker stint lifting the Cumbrians six points clear of the relegation zone - where they were stranded before he took charge.

But he is not taking the 'onwards and upwards' approach as he treads cautiously into his first management job. He may have madeĀ a fine start, but he said: "We're still not far above the relegation zone so we can't take our foot off the pedal.

"When I first took over our confidence was at its lowest point, but I've been at the club long enough to know the players' capabilities and it was a case of taking the shackles off and sending them out to turn things round.

"In the first two games we played exceptionally well, especially at Stevenage where we got a great away win. We weren't at our optimum against Notts County last Saturday, but we battled well and kept the winning run going.

"We need to be performing better then we did in that last game though, and we'll have to step it up to beat Shrewsbury. But that will be the aim - it'll be my first official game as manager and I want to mark it with a win."

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