What on earth are we expected to make of a performance like the one against Morecambe?
How could the promise shown in the brave midweek win at Colchester be blown apart just two minutes after the kick-off?
More importantly how is Dermot Drummy going to motivate his inconsistent team as they face a run of games against the top sides?
Having previously bemoaned the lack of initiative shown at Blackpool and the wasteful finishing at Luton, I was pleasantly surprised at the response shown against Colchester.
Jimmy Smith single-handedly won us three points with a marvellous hat-trick that merited fulsome praise.
The execution was perfect starting with a powerful header from a corner by Dean Cox.
Next he despatched Enzio Boldewijn’s headed lay off with an unstoppable right-footed half volley. Then he drove home a left-footed shot from the edge of the box although U’s keeper Sam Walker might have done better. Three out of three – absolutely brilliant.
The alarm bells ring at this stage as those three shots were the only ones we mustered all evening.
They proved just enough as Colchester showed that watching Match of the Day is in their training manual. Denny Johnstone’s opener was assisted by a Alexis Sanchez-style handball that was obvious to the away fans but was shielded from the referee.
Brennan Dickenson’s late free-kick owed much to Robbie Brady’s peerless strike for Burnley – left-footed, over the wall, down and tight inside the post.
Three more points against Morecambe could and should have come our way and Reds’ failings will take a lot of explaining.
Defensively we were a shambles, obviously missing Joe McNerney and Josh Yorwerth. There was no marking and three awful goals were conceded.
The midfield was inconsequential, let down by woeful passing and a lack of quality.
Things were better going forward especially in the second half when substitute Rhys Murphy took some of the pressure off the overloaded James Collins.
By then the match was lost and the natives were getting restless.
Inconsistency is our greatest problem but you cannot easily prepare for eight or nine of your team each having an off day at the same time.
The afternoon was further soured by Morecambe needlessly adopting the role of Northern cloggers and referee Charles Breakspear’s decisions declined in equal proportion.
I found it hard to take any positives from this display and I suspect I am not alone amongst Crawley Town’s regular supporters.
We know what good football the lads can deliver and that makes a game like this all the harder to stomach.
It can’t be easy for Dermot Drummy so perhaps he should compare notes with Claudio Ranieri for whom Leicester City’s displays are even more disastrous and baffling.
Personally I would look for team changes based on the explanation of “You are dropped because you are not good enough” but we’d all disagree on who should go.