Emotional day for returning Zoko

PA Sport
Francois Zoko was on target on his return to Carlisle
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Francois Zoko was on target on his return to Carlisle

It was a day of mixed emotions for former Carlisle star Francois Zoko on his first return to Brunton Park since moving to Notts County.

The Ivorian striker had just 35 minutes to wait before stepping off the bench to remind Carlisle fans of what they have been missing this season.

Zoko scored County's third goal on an afternoon when they inflicted a severe drubbing on their hosts and, in the process, stretched their unbeaten run on their travels to a club record 13 going back to February.

County manager Keith Curle admitted: "Francois was disappointed not to be playing from the start, but he needs to catch up having missed the pre-season with us."

Zoko said: "I still look for Carlisle's results and it was emotional for me today to see my old mates. I still have good relationships with everybody and I never left because I didn't like Carlisle."

It was a less happy day for Carlisle's ex-County defender Mike Edwards who admitted: "It was a massively disappointing result for us. We've been winning quite a few away and it's frustrating not to do it at home."

County themselves came off the back of two home defeats and Curle said: "The best way to show disappointment is by your next performance and we got that today. I have got faith in the system we play and I am building for the future.

"This is a difficult place to come to and the mental approach had to be right. I earn my money when we get negative results and we did a lot of preparation work on the tactical side."

Carlisle manager Greg Abbott could not hide his disappointment as his side continued their struggle to win at home.

"We lost more than three points and a football match today. We lost our momentum. I'm not hiding. We didn't do our jobs. I have never been brutal about my team, but we were nowhere near good enough. Our away form has been tremendous, but if we don't back it up at home we will find ourselves at the wrong end of the table."

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