Dermot Drummy has praised his ‘fantastic’ forward James Collins and said that the returning Josh Payne ‘means business’ for Crawley Town.
Top-scorer Collins has netted nine goals since joining Reds at the start of the year after leaving Shrewbury Town.
The striker’s work ethic cannot be faulted as he has put in a sterling shift in every single appearance - happy to do the hard running for the team, which has also paid dividends on the scoresheet.
Payne meanwhile made his first start since his return from an ankle injury in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Grimsby and proved a fabulous foil in the middle of the park.
Drummy said: “James Collins is a fantastic player, he really is a fantastic player. His mentality, his spirit. He does not always have the greatest of touches at times, but he gets goals and he keeps the dressing room alive.
“His comments in the dressing room at half-time are worth a lot. As a manager you have about a minute with the players, but when experienced players say something as well, like Collins, Matt Harrold and Jimmy Smith, the players also take that on board.
“My common sense allows that to be open in the dressing room, it’s not a dictatorship. I need those experienced players for the team and they certainly are at the moment.”
Former West Ham midfielder Payne meanwhile is working his way back up the pyramid after shining for both Woking and Eastleigh since serving a six-month sentence for assault in 2012.
He also joined the club in the summer and Drummy has revealed the middle man is desperate to show his worth again after a difficult few years.
The head coach added: “It was his first game back since Portsmouth and he has trained really hard and when I look at him, you looks you straight in the eye and he means business.
“It’s a great opportunity for him to stamp his mark on professional football again. He has been rated before and then went off to Eastleigh and that.
“Now I think he knows if he can hold his own in this league he can go further.
“I don’t think you can buy players with football intelligence, that’s for us to sign players with football intelligence, they grow with that.”
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