Crawley boss Kewell calls for more Luton form against Forest Green
Crawley Town head coach Harry Kewell wants to maintain the levels reached against Luton and Wigan when they host Forest Green Rovers at the Checkatrade Stadium tomorrow.
Following a poor run at home with only two wins since February, Reds showed they can play their best in front of their home crowd three weeks ago when they drew 0-0 with Luton Town.
It was an impressive performance which could well have ended in Crawley taking all three points and drew a standing ovation and massive applause from the appreciative crowd.
Since then Reds remained unbeaten in another 0-0 draw away to Lincoln City, followed by a 3-1 victory at home in the Sussex Senior Cup against local National League South club Bognor Regis Town.
Forest Green are managed by the experienced Mark Cooper and are playing in the English Football League for the first time this season, having won promotion from the National League.
They initially struggled to make an impact, but they have now hit a winning streak with three successive league wins plus a victory last weekend in the FA Cup when they beat Macclesfield Town 1-0.
Kewell said: “It’s a big game for both sides. They have found their feet in the League and have won four games in a row so they will come to us full of confidence.
“But we set a standard in our last home performance against a top side in Luton that I want us to maintain in every game now at the Checkatrade.
“We should probably have won that day but the energy and determination we produced has to happen every time in front of our own supporters.”
Last weekend Reds went out of the FA Cup at the first round stage but they did draw the highest club in the competition, League 1 high-flyers Wigan Athletic.
They kept their standards high by taking the lead at the DW Stadium through a great goal by Jordan Roberts.
Wigan fielded a strong side and recovered to win 2-1 with a brilliant wonder-goal.
But this display left Crawley players and fans alike with their heads held high having given a good account of themselves.
Kewell’s main striker, Dutchman Thomas Verheydt, made his return to the team and played 30 minutes, having been ruled out by a knee injury for the last two months.
Reds have been finding it difficult to score regularly in league matches, so his return is welcome news as they go in search of league points.
Kewell is pleased with their improved displays but is keen to hit the back of the net.
He said: “Our performances in recent games have been good.
“Even at Wigan, against a top side, we were always in the game.
“What we do need to show is more ruthlessness in front of goal.”
“Once we do that - and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t start on Saturday - we will win more consistently and climb the table.”