Dean Saunders looks ahead to Barnsley clash

Dean Saunders the new Crawley Town manager watches his side against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-141228-185128004
Dean Saunders the new Crawley Town manager watches his side against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-141228-185128004

Crawley Town interim manager Dean Saunders plans to bounce back immediately from Tuesday’s biggest home defeat in 15 years.

This Saturday Reds host Barnsley at the Checkatrade.com Stadium and he wants to try to cash in on turmoil at their opponents Barnsley who have just sacked their manager.

Saunders said: “It’s a home game for us and we’re looking forward to it - they’ve lost their manager (Danny Wilson) and we have got to use it as a positive. They will probably change a few players and sometimes they can get a new lease of life.

“I know Danny Wilson and Chris (Hutchings) really well and you don’t like to see people lose their job. I believe he’s had the budget cut and it’s difficult to get the results the club expect.

“Strange things happen in football. When you take the manager’s job and it can take 2.5 to three years before you get the place and the team playing the way you want them to but nowadays you don’t get the time to do it.

“It doesn’t make any difference to us. We have to make ourselves hard to play against and find a way of winning games even though we don’t get as much possession as the opposition at times.

“We have a way of playing and we’ve looked over what happened the other night and hopefully it will make us stronger. I have shown the players the DVD not to give them pain but so we don’t make the same mistakes again.

“We need about six or seven wins in the last 18 games. We beat Preston and should have beaten MK Dons and we have shown we can do it.

“That was a kick in the teeth (against Doncaster) and although I didn’t expect us to lose 5-0 I knew there would be defeats and that is part of the challenge.”

Saunders admitted being without his captain Joe Walsh who begins a three-match ban for being sent-off against Doncaster is going to be difficult.

He said: “Walshy is out for three games and causes us a problem. He can’t do it. He’s left his team-mates in the lurch. Luckily it did not cost us the game as we were already 3-0 down but it might cost us points in the future so the implications are quite serious for us.

“We’ve lost three points and that’s it - as long as we can pick up enough wins along the way. When we lose we need to make sure it doesn’t seep into the next game. At home we’ve got to win. If we can’t win the worst we can do is draw.

“The ones who haven’t been playing have got a chance to show what they can do so they should all be ready.”

Saunders believes Crawley can follow the example of other teams this season who have lifted themselves up from the foot of the table.

He said: “Crewe have done it - they lost to MK Dons 5-0 and have now won six out of eight.”

Dean Leacock could feature after injury while Lanre Oyebanjo who came off injured on Tuesday should be recovered to face Barnsley.