Billy Clifford admitted that Saturday's 6-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion was hard to stomach after Chris Hughton's men inflicted a first defeat of pre-season on the Reds.
Four goals in the first half and a further two in the second gave the Premier League side the victory, and the midfielder was honest in his assessment of the game when speaking after the match.
"It was obviously difficult to take," he told iFollow Crawley.
"We were playing against a very good side and we knew that qualitites they would have.
"We can use it as fitness, but it also highlights where we need to work on in training.
"I think we can take some positives out of today - the scoreline wasn't great but I think we created some chances against a well drilled side.
"In our division sometimes you can get away with making a few mistakes - but you can't make them against a quality side like Brighton because they'll punish you."
The midfielder had argubaly the side's best chance of the game in the second half when he fired over from Dennon Lewis' cutback.
It was an opportunity missed but he emphasised that he'd been working hard on trying to get himself on the scoresheet during the upcoming campaign.
"I've been working hard and I really want to try and score more goals this season," he continued.
"I had a great chance in the second half and I'm disappointed that I didn't at least hit the target.
"Mistakes have cost us today - so we need to iron them out and we still have a couple of weeks until the first game of the season to do that.
"If we can do that then we'll be ok - the new manager has us well drilled and organised and everyone knows their jobs - so we'll all keep doing that and committing to the cause."