TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Reds’ fan Geoff Thornton gives his views

Crawley Town fan and columnist Geoff Thornton SUS-150216-151358002
Crawley Town fan and columnist Geoff Thornton SUS-150216-151358002

Is it fair to expect Crawley Town to change their ways at this late stage of the season?

It may not be but it is essential that some lessons are learned by the time the next campaign gets underway.

The main problem, unsurprisingly, is our inability to defend set-piece plays.

To concede a goal to a set piece is one thing but conceding three and thus appearing to be well beaten is another thing altogether.

Everybody knew the game at Bristol Rovers would be tough as the Gas are in great form and are aiming for an automatic promotion spot.

But for an hour we contained their threat and had we been a bit more positive going forward we may well have taken a surprise lead.

That made the final scoreline all the more disappointing.

A lack of expectation and genuine belief in ourselves may have been behind it and you make your own luck at this level.

Whilst there is no denying the quality of Liam Lawrence’s free-kick struck from the best part of twenty-five yards our defending of the two corner kicks was appalling.

As the kicks themselves and Matty Taylor’s headers were virtually indistinguishable our defence of the second must have been even worse than it had been for the first.

We simply do not show sufficient nous in defence and, as the damage was caused at the near post, it suggests the absence of an accomplished right back was a factor.

Throughout the season we have regularly been exposed at the back because of deficiencies in our marking.

It is schoolboy stuff and questions need to be asked as to why Taylor was allowed two free headers.

Coaching is the answer and I am personally concerned that Mark Yates and Jimmy Dack do not appear to be as worried about the Reds’ shortcomings as they should be.

If I am wrong, as I suspect I am, and they are then I apologise but unfortunately that is the impression I am left with.

So, should we expect changes and should we expect them sooner rather than later?

The answer is probably no and yes.

If the present squad haven’t learned from their past mistakes they probably never will but the management and the new owner will not want things to continue as they are and improvements will come next season when the squad has been rejuvenated and some hard work done in the closed season.

For the time being we must all go with the flow.

The current circumstances mean there will be a number of changes during the summer and not just in personnel.

There could be a very bright future but we will simply have to wait and see.

It would be nice, however, if we didn’t let ourselves down so often in the meantime.

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