Crawley boss Kewell praises 'fantastic' Palmer and defends ex-Reds forward

Crawley Town boss Harry Kewell. Picture by Steve Robards.
Crawley Town boss Harry Kewell. Picture by Steve Robards.

Harry Kewell has praised the impact of new signing Ollie Palmer after he once again proved the hero as Crawley Town dramatically beat Bury 3-2.

The ex-Lincoln City man bagged an 88th minute winner to down The Shakers as well as putting him joint top with Swindon's Michael Doughty as League Two's leading goalscorer with five goals.

The Red Devils boss was quick to praise Palmer after the win, saying his link up play and eye for goal have been pivotal for his side so far this season.

He said: "Ollie Palmer was our focal point today. He held the ball up a lot, he introduced the ball to the midfielders and for all his hard work, he gets his goal.

"Ollie is providing for other people but he is also scoring himself. It is fantastic."

Palmer was bought in to replace the departing Thomas Verheydt at the start of the summer as the Dutch striker returned to his homeland to join Eerste Divisie side Go Ahead Eagles.

With comparisons being made between the impact of the players, Kewell defended last season's forward Verheydt as he felt the Dutchmen was key to last year's good late season form.

He added: "I think Thomas Verheydt was excellent for us. A lot of people are quick to jump on that bandwagon but when we went on our amazing run, Thomas was the one. Okay he didn’t score but he was providing other areas."

After Crawley's late winner pushed the Reds up to fourteenth in League Two, Kewell believes that his side are playing confident, attacking football but felt that they still need to iron out defensive mistakes to progress.

He said: "Three points itself is good and the players know they are playing the right way. It’s about them having the confidence to go out there and play. We are progressing and going in the right direction.

"I always want people to be on the edge of their seats and watch entertaining football. We know we are going to make mistakes. It is human nature to make mistakes but it is about correcting it which shows you are learning."

Next Saturday the Red Devils travel to an Oldham Athletic side in eight position and just one place outside the playoffs at this early stage.

Kewell has predicted a tough test against the Latics but has backed his boys to put in a performance to secure the win.

He added: "Regardless of what happened today, we would go there with great heart. I’ve got a good team that wants to play the right way and get to that next level.

"It’s going to be tough, very tough but why wouldn’t you want to go to a place like Oldham. It’s a great club with a great history. It will be a test for us.

"You always want to keep winning and start pushing up and see how far you can go."