Kav is starting to stamp his mark

Thursday 26th December 2013 13:04

Graham Kavanagh: Has presided over a vast improvement at Carlisle United

Graham Kavanagh: Has presided over a vast improvement at Carlisle United

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Graham Kavanagh has presided over a vast improvement at Carlisle United and FanZoner Ryan Waugh gives his take on the Cumbrians boss.

Kavanagh has now resided in the United hotseat for 83 days and during this time we have seen a vast improvement under the guidance of the former Republic of Ireland international.

The Greg Abbott era has long gone and a new chapter has already started to be scribbled onto the Brunton Park history board as we embark on a festive period of some mouthwatering clashes.

Carlisle welcome our old foes Preston North End to our humble, Great Border City on Boxing Day for a bumper crowd - something not witnessed particularly regularly at the club in recent years.

Further league fixtures follow against free-scoring Peterborough United before a New Year's day trip to Crewe, who are languishing near the root of the League One tree.

However, most Blues fans have one game in mind right now - the hotly anticipated FA Cup third-round clash with Premier League side Sunderland.

Chaotic

The 5,500 ticket allocation for the short trip has already been snapped up with surely another 500 -1,000 tickets to be offered to the Cumbrians in the coming days.

The Black Cats, who are currently propping up the Barclays Premier League table with 10 points before today's fixtures, have had an extremely chaotic season to date. Maybe that is something of a slight understatement?

The Paolo Di Canio show came and went with a few moments of possible genius but also utter bedlam smothered somewhere into his brief spell as manager.

However, Gustavo Poyet's arrival to the Sunderland hotseat has had a mixed start to date and severe question marks still remain over the North East's second biggest club's hopes of top-level survival despite an impressive League Cup victory over Chelsea.

Heroics

Me, for one, can certainly whiff a chance of an upset at the Stadium of Light on Sunday the 5th of January. Why not I say, all the ingredients are available with the Mackems bottom of the pile and Carlisle capable of pulling a superb performance out of the bag on occasions. The underdog is able to perform the heroics required, I feel.

The last two fixtures between the clubs at the old Roker Park yielded two 1-1 draws and having witnessed both of those memorable FA Cup matches in the mid-nineties, I see a similar scenario repeating itself once more.

Troubles

However, one reliance the Cumbrians have had to deal with is the requirement of the loan players in recent months. Having already used well into double figures of loan players this term, some of the key on-loan personal could well return to their parent clubs and the early past season troubles could potentially return.

And, that's where the season is heading, the dependence of some very promising young players who can keep us away from the relegation zone is encouraging but not ideal.

If we can get through the remainder of the season and avoid the drama of the relegation dogfight and have further romance in the FA Cup, the early strains of the first few weeks of the season will be truly banished as Kavanagh builds his team for next season.

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