New signing can't wait for the big kick off
New Reds signing Jimmy Smith has spoken of his delight at joining Crawley on a two-year contract, stating that he “liked what he saw” when visiting the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Smith joined earlier this week for an undisclosed fee from Stevenage with the 27-year-old linking up with John Gregory again having had a loan spell under the Reds boss earlier in his career.
“The manager had a big part in me coming here”, Smith said “I worked with him at QPR and Crawley seemed a good club to be at. The gaffer was very good to me at QPR; his man-management was good and he makes sure that you have togetherness and a winning mentality. I didn't need much convincing. When I came to the club I liked what I saw - the staff are very nice and the
facilities are good as well.”
Jimmy endured a disappointing campaign with Stevenage last season, which ended in relegation from League One. However, he is looking forward to a new challenge and a different style of football under JG.
He said: “It was a tough season on and off the field. I tried to do my best and I felt I did well for the club playing in a few positions. There will be a difference in styles between Stevenage and Crawley – we'll be playing the type of football I want to play. Obviously you've got to work hard but what you do with the ball is more important. I played a lot of games in League One: nearly 200 for Orient and almost 50 for Stevenage so I know what's required in this league.”
Jimmy's versatility is something that he believes could be an advantage to him. “It always helps to be able to play in a number of positions,” he added. “It gives teams cover when players get injured or suspended but I'd like to really cement my place in central midfield. I like to do a bit of everything. I've not afraid to get stuck in and battle but I also like to get the ball down and move it. I'd like to chip in with a few goals as well with some late runs into the box. I don't really have any real aims for next season but I do have my own personal goal targets.”
The Londoner is confident that Reds can build on last season's mid-table finish and believes the play-offs may not be out of reach for the club: “Last year the weather didn't help with the situation that Crawley were in and it was always going to be tough with the amount of games that we had to catch up with. It would have been hard to have put a team out that kept winning game after game.
“Next season when the squad is fully in place I don't think there's any reason why we can't push on for the top six and build on that 14th place finish.”
You can watch a video interview with Jimmy by clicking here. John Gregory's thoughts on his arrival are available by clicking here.