Bury take Abbott back again
By Roland Sheldon
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Football League rules state that a club can only loan a player for a maximum 93 days, unless they take the player on a season long deal. Unfortunately, Bury will be unable to extend the duration of the contract as the deadline for a season-long loan passed on December 31.
The Gigg Lane outfit will have the Polish youngster available for key matches against second placed Rushden & Diamonds, sixth placed Lincoln and relegation threatened Darlington. With Bury currently just a point away from a play-off spot, boss Andy Preece will be looking for Abbott to give his side a boost.
Abbott will miss two games for North End during his spell away from the club.
Meanwhile, defender Colin Murdock has been ruled out of Northern Ireland's two forthcoming Euro 2004 qualifiers, and the chance of a pre-deadline move away from Preston, after a scan on his injured knee showed ligament damage.
The news will come as another blow to Murdock, who was also recently informed that he was being transfer-listed by the club.
It means that the 27-year-old will miss the crucial qualifiers in Armenia on March 29, and at home to Greece four days later.
In addition to this, his hopes of finding a new club for the remainder of the season will have been dashed as the deadline is only 12 days away.
"Colin will be out for a month and that is a massive blow to the lad," said manager Craig Brown.
"There are a couple of important internationals coming up which he will now miss and it also pulls the rug from under his feet with the deadline coming up."
Murdock sustained the injury making a tackle during a midweek reserve win over Tranmere.
There were words of support coming from manager Craig Brown, who sympathised with Murdock's bad luck.
"He is obviously disappointed because he had been hoping to be selected for the European qualifiers. But I have told him that we will try and get him back into the side here once he is fit so he can stake a claim for the internationals in the summer.
"He has been a good servant to this club and even though he will be moving on in the summer he doesn't deserve to be pushed to one side."
There were goalkeeping concerns for Preston meanwhile, as they were forced to recall Andy Lonergan from his loan spell at Blackpool, due to the reoccurance of Jonathan Gould's groin injury.
Lonergan moved to the Bloomfield Road outfit on a season-long deal at the beginning of February, but has so far failed to break into the first team.
The 20-year-old was due to fly out to Switzerland with the rest of the England Under-20 squad, but it is now more likely that Lonergan will be substitute keeper for Preston's home game with Walsall.