Saunders hails effort as Crawley ‘stop the rot’

Dean Saunders the new Crawley Town manager watches his side against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-141228-182307002
Dean Saunders the new Crawley Town manager watches his side against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-141228-182307002

New Crawley Town interim manager Dean Saunders hailed the efforts of his players and felt they ‘stopped the rot’ with a point against Colchester today.

The former Wolves manager saw his side hold their visitors to a scoreless draw at the Checkatrade.com Stadium to move out of the League One relegation places.

Saunders faced an injury crisis ahead of kick-off and was forced to play Lewis Young, Marvin Elliott and Bobson Bawling at the back with Joe Walsh as his only available defender.

The 50-year-old was delighted with the whole team’s efforts and admitted it had been a whirlwind 24 hours since taking charge.

He said: “It has happened very quick and I rung Paul Groves last night and I said just go through who we have available. He said that we have one goalkeeper, the right-back is injured, the left-back is injured and Dean Leacock is injured.

“I said, who have we got? And he said that we haven’t got anymore defenders.

“We put a back four together today with Lewis Young playing at right-back, which he hasn’t done. Marvin Elliott played centre-back and he has never played in the back four before in his life. They were outstanding the pair of them.

“The left-back is a right-back and the captain (Joe Walsh) is a young boy. All four of them have done great.

“We had a bit of luck as they hit the post a couple of times, but I have put them together in 20 minutes and we have kept a clean sheet.

“I said to them, whatever the results today that is the result of the day; getting a clean sheet when I have had a couple of hours with them this morning.

“I am pleased. It stops Colchester getting two points as well and we have stopped the rot.”

The former Wales striker now has two weeks before their next game and he is expecting a busy time in the transfer window.

He added: “I thought they were trying as well and that’s all I said to them. The supporters will forgive you for all the things you can’t do if you try and give 100 per cent.

“And I will forgive them if they keep missing chances, but keep getting in there, I will forgive them. But if you are not trying nobody will forgive anything you do.

“They have all listened and tried their best.

“I have two weeks now to get some players into the building because we are obviously short, I didn’t realise.

“We hardly had enough players to put on the bench and I didn’t know some of their names, but they have had a go today and we got a point so it is a good start.

“Standing on the side of the pitch, especially when they were getting corners at the end. You think please head the ball away, please don’t score and you are relying on the players on being as brave as they were.

“All in all really pleased and I hope that has given them a bit of belief that what I am telling them is right.”