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Match Previews

Opposition View: Crawley Town

13 August 2018

We take a detailed look at our Carabao Cup first-round opponents, Crawley Town.

Opposition boss...

The thirty-nine-year-old has been at the helm at the Checkatrade Stadium since the May 2017, undertaking his first full-time job in management with the Sky Bet League Two outfit.

At the international level, Kewell featured at for native Australia at both the 2006 and 2010 World Cup finals, featuring 56 times for his country - as well as playing in two Champions League finals while at Liverpool.

After retiring from playing in 2014, the Kewell concentrated on obtaining his UEFA Pro License coaching qualification and was in charge of the under-23s at Watford from June 2015, helping a number of his squad to make their first-team debuts at Vicarage Road.

In his first full season in charge at Crawley, Kewell guided the club to a 14th placed finish and started the 2018/19 campaign brightly, beating Cheltenham Town away in the opening fixture of the season.

Kewell is assisted at Crawley by former Newport County AFC and Linfield Manager, Warren Feeney – with the pair knowing each other from their days playing for Leeds United.

Star man...

Dominic Poleon joined the Reds in the summer for an undisclosed fee from Bradford. On his arrival at Crawley, Kewell stated that he hoped the striker could make a big mark in Sky Bet League Two.

Yet to find the net for this new club - the former Leeds, Oldham and AFC Wimbledon man has been involved in Crawley's opening fixtures.

Last season, the twenty-four-year-old scored seven goals for the Bantams and can also occupy a threat from wide positions.

Inside View...

Sports Editor at the Crawley Observer, Graham Carter, details what Rovers can expect from the Sky Bet League Two outfit on Tuesday evening.

"Crawley Town are looking to build upon last season's useful debut season of Harry Kewell in his first season as a first team boss.

Reds finished 14th which was much better than expected by the bookmakers, who listed them as second favourites for the drop.

The summer has seen Crawley busy on the transfer market with no fewer than ten new signings arriving at Broadfield Stadium.

Among them are several players who came from higher rated clubs with plenty of Football League experience.
These include striker Ollie Palmer (Lincoln City), winger Filipe Morais (Bolton Wanderers), striker/winger Dominic Poleon (Bradford City), midfielder George Francomb (AFC Wimbledon) and defender Romain Vincelot (Bradford City).

As well as established players, Kewell has brought in some talented youngsters who are keen to break into the team like Reece Grego-Cox (ex-QPR), Tarryn Allarakhia (Colchester United) and Brian Galach (Aldershot).=

Over the summer Crawley have sold some players who have gone to higher clubs: winger Enzio Boldewijn (Notts County) and Jordan Roberts (Ipswich Town) plus defender Josh Yorwerth (Peterborough United). Those leaving were all popular with the fans and will be missed.

Kewell is looking for improvement this season and during pre-season hinted at a possible push for the play-offs.
At a fans' forum last Tuesday night, Kewell did not give a specific target but gave his aims for the season as being: "I always want more and believe there is more in this team.

“We need to be able to go to that next level.

“We’re moving in the right direction, but we need to install this winning mentality of taking our chances now. I really would like to see my team demolish oppositions now.”

Reds made the perfect start by kick-off their League 2 campaign with a 1-0 away win at Cheltenham Town, thanks to a goal by one of the newboys, Ollie Palmer.

The 6ft 5ins forward scored his second goal in two games on Saturday as Crawley crashed back down to earth with a 3-1 defeat at home to Stevenage.

This was disappointing but of course it is still very early days in the season and whenever a set of new players comes in, it is always going to take time for them to gel.

With the quality of players recruited, and Harry Kewell with a year's experience in the job under his belt, Reds fans should hopefully be looking forward to a better season with the team pressing for a place in the top-ten."



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