Blades: Sheffield United star Cresswell’s pal cut out to be Leed-ing man

Reunion: Lane ace Richard Cresswell crosses swords with old friend and rival boss Greg Abbott today.
Reunion: Lane ace Richard Cresswell crosses swords with old friend and rival boss Greg Abbott today.
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RICHARD Cresswell is looking forward to bumping into an old pal at Bramall Lane this afternoon.

The striker is expected to spearhead Sheffield United’s attack when they entertain Carlisle United, who are managed by Greg Abbott.

Cresswell and Abbott go back a long way. The duo know each other from their Leeds days when Abbott was part of the coaching set-up there. He was the youth team coach at Elland Road and also worked with the reserves.

Since being given the job at Carlisle just over three years ago, Abbott has led them to 20th, 14th and 12th-placed finishes in League One. The Cumbrians have also reached the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final for the last two years, beating Brentford 1-0 at Wembley in April courtesy of a Peter Murphy strike.

Cresswell said he always knew Abbott was cut out for management.

“Greg did a great job at Leeds and brought some excellent players through,” he said. “He was great at developing players and he knew how to handle them.

“Greg’s got good organisational skills. He is a nice bloke and it is nice to see him doing well. You could tell he wanted to be a manager and he has taken it with both hands. He is a manager who is definitely on the up.”

While Cresswell is relishing the prospect of catching up with Abbott afterwards, he insists his main priority is to help United get back to winning ways and close the gap on the top two.

“Carlisle are a team that stick together and have got players who can play at a higher level,” said Cresswell.

“They are a committed side and we will have to be well organised and play at our tempo to stop them putting their stamp on the game.”

The Bridlington-born player, who has netted five goals in 20 appearances this term, is urging the Blades to replicate the high tempo performance they produced against Oxford in the FA Cup.

“We have set the standard and now we have to look to continue it,” he added.