Chelsea loanee goalkeeper Mitch Beeney has been challenged to earn the number one spot at Crawley Town.
Head coach Dermot Drummy’s choice at who would start the League Two season in between the sticks went down to the wire and former Liverpool stopper Yussuf Mersin just got the nod.
Many expected loanee Beeney to be first choice this season, but Mersin has impressed in pre-season and despite a shaky start against Wycombe Wanderers, kept a crucial clean sheet.
Drummy revealed he only decided on who he would go with on Friday while watching the players eat their lunch and he has now challenged Beeney to earn the gloves to take over between the sticks.
He said: “It was a choice between the two and it was a hard choice. I had to go with my gut feeling and on Friday I hadn’t made my mind up and I just went in and watched them in the restaurant eating.
“You sometimes get that feeling. I pulled Mitchell to one side and said I think this and he was ok.
“I said you now need to get that training method in to get to number one and he took it like a professional.
“The development for Mitchell is now right thinking, how do I get this back. For me that is right and the perfect loan situation. That’s the real world, you fight for your place and when you get your place as a goalkeeper, you have to keep it.”
The overall assessment from Drummy, who secured his first senior managerial victory, was a positive one. The former Arsenal and Chelsea youth coach saluted the players’ spirit.
He said: “I am really pleased with Jimmy (Smith), Joe McNerney, they have all worked and I am hard on them. I am not easy on them in terms of the way I want them to play, but their spirit and commitment was fantastic and we can just get better.
“They managed the game well. We can shout on the line and sometimes they don’t hear us and sometimes they don’t listen, it’s substitutions we are in charge of.
“They have to see it and I just thought the spirit was great. When we get in the dressing room and celebrate a win, we all celebrate a win and that’s everyone involved.”
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