Mark's positive message ahead of big kick off
Mark Yates is delighted with the hard work the team put in through pre-season in preparation for our opening game against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
The Reds put in some positive performances against a number of Championship teams, most notably a 1-0 win over Reading during a hectic period of warm-up games.
But the serious stuff starts on Saturday and Mark says the Reds are ready.
Mark said: “It’s been a tough, hard working pre-season; we’re all trying to get to know each other and know what we do. Now, we’re going to pick a team that will go to Oxford to do themselves and the club proud on Saturday.
“I’ve seen Oxford in pre-season, so I know it’ll be a tough game. But we’ve done our homework and preparation. They have players that will hurt you all over the pitch, but I’m looking forward to it and so are my players.”
With Reds starting off against Oxford United followed by Peterborough (Capital One Cup), AFC Wimbledon, Portsmouth, Cambridge and Wycombe, Mark is well aware that his side has one of the toughest starts in League Two.
“I don’t think there’s a tougher start in League Two. We start with four of the toughest games against teams that have bigger budgets, as well as last year’s play-off finalists,” he added.
“But as you’ll hear from me throughout my stay, you deal with what’s in front of you. Everyone’s thoughts are set on Oxford.”
Mark added Bryan Van Den Boagert to the squad on Friday and may add to the squad again before the end of the transfer window.
“We’ve worked on a couple of things and we’re happy changing if we need to. The lads have worked really hard with fitness, team stuff, individual stuff and it’s come together nicely.”
Despite the new additions, many pundits have tipped Crawley for a mid-table finish. However, Mark has a positive feeling about not just Oxford but the season as a whole. It also seems this is something he has instilled within the players.
“I’m a competitive man, but I also have to be realistic. We want to compete in every game that we play. We want to be energetic, sound defensively and be able to excite people. If we do that then we’ll challenge around the play-offs and I believe that it’s do-able.”