Reds told to fear no-one ahead of Pompey visit

Crawley Town V AFC Wimbledon (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150815-191351008
Crawley Town V AFC Wimbledon (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150815-191351008

Crawley Town boss Mark Yates believes his side have shown they should fear no-one ahead of their home clash with Portsmouth tonight.

Pompey visit the Checkatrade.com Stadium firmly on the quest for promotion in League 2 this season with three wins to their name already.

Paul Cook’s side opened up the campaign with a 3-0 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge, followed by a 2-1 away triumph at Plymouth, either side of beating Derby 2-1 in the Capital One Cup.

There is certainly expectation on the South Coast and Reds will have to be at their best to take anything from the clash - although Yates saw enough in their first-half display in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to AFC Wimbledon to know that is possible.

He said: “They are a good side we know that. Paul Cook is a very good manager. He has assembled a fantastic squad, but it doesn’t matter we will be here and will come out to get something out of the game.

“We want to win and we want to impress our home supporters. It’s not going to be easy, we knew we were in for a tough start, but we showed in the first half (against AFC Wimbledon) they we should be fearful of no-one.

“We have just got to do our jobs a little better than we did.”

Ex-Portsmouth man Izale McLeod is still expected to be absent tonight as he tries to force a move away from Reds, while Yates admitted on Saturday he is unsure of when Conor Henderson will return.

Long-term absentees Lanre Oyebanjo and Gavin Tomlin remain sidelined.

Crawley striker Matt Harrold said: “I think everyone coming into this season fancied them. They have probably got a huge budget, probably three or four times our budget.

“It’s a game where we can say we have nothing to lose, but we want to come out here and have a reaction.”

The last meeting at Winfield Way - Pompey’s only trip to the stadium - was back in back in 2012 when Michael Appleton’s side recorded their first League One win of the season thanks to goals from Ashley Harris, Luke Rodgers and then Portsmouth player McLeod.

Richie Barker’s side finished with nine men as Hope Akpan and Josh Simpson were sent off.

Kick-off tonight is 7.45pm.

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