Crawley Town held an interesting fans forum at The People's Pension Stadium tonight (Monday).
Q. Where is the squad training?
A. Cioffi: I decided that we train on the 3G. It's something we tried to sort together. It's a big lack for the club not to have a training ground. When I joined there wa ssa lot of stuff that was not working and is still not working. The easiest thing is to complain. But the club employs some amazing people and I am working here daily and believe it or not I am on the same page as these gentlemen and we fight a lot. There is a lot of stuff to build. We now have an analysis department, which we never had before. We have no money, we have to be creative. You are the heart of the club but then there is the rest of the body but there was no connection. Now we are starting to connect. That's what brings results.
Q. We do appreciate you are working hard, but we don't seem to be learning from silly mistakes which are costing us?
A. Cioffi: I agree. It's frustrating, good performance, good performance, then 3-0 defeat. This is the mentality I am talking about, I have spoken to the players about this. To create a winning mentality is tough. This team is lacking in that. What don't kill you makes you stringer. Trust me, we are stronger.
Q. When you came to Crawley quite a lot was made from your background in Turkey, there were some colourful articles about Erdem. What do you really bring to the club?
A. Erdem: When you buy a house, you don't just look at a window, you look at the whole thing. Regarding myself, the stories are colourful but the judges who all had cases against me are in prison now. That was a very unfair situation. In Turkey every club president still calls me because I have a very good reputation still in finding good players. There's nothing I can do about the stories online but I couldn't care less. £3.2million has been put in but over three years. When we first came in, out of the players who left only Gwion Edwards has gone upwards in level. There was not a lot of quality in that squad, so there has been a lot of squad building. The league position has gone down but the squad value has gone up. Notts County and Leyton Orient have massive budgets but they have gone downwards. It doesn't always work. Money is not the true indicator of success. This is the most valuable Crawley squad in the last three years. We are football people. This is our trade.
Q. What role do you have in substitutions [to Nathan Rooney]? I am not confident when we go a goal down that we can get something out of it?
A. Cioffi: He supports me. In the last game I was too late in making changes. I prefer a player with heart and tired than a fresh player with probably less heart. We are managing the game in the best way for the club's interest.
Rooney: If you look at the previous games over the last couple of months or so. We go way to Swindon and get a result, there are moments in that game where you want to make a sub but you get that feeling in your belly it's not right and you stick with what you have got and see the game out. That's one situation. You look five months back when Ashley Nathaniel-George was at his peak, you bring him on against Yeovil, he scores, three points game done. Same thing happens against Cammbridge, Those patterns go into the book and we refer back to them if we get that feeling again. There are obviously more than two people on that sideline making those quick decisions. I stand back, observe the game then we discuss.
Q. The best performance this season was against Exeter. How have we lost the momentum?
A. Cioffi: That was my fault, I am not scared to say. After Exeter we went to Tranmere and we were softer. It was a catastrophe. To build again after that was tough. In the last nine games we were solid we started to play good football again. I believed we turned a corner after Newport. The longer path to turn is the mentality and this a daily fight we have.
Q. Why is there no voice out on the park?
A. Cioffi: One of my sporting director when I was playing premier league said 'If you don't have leader, you have to build leader'. We have different personalities in the squad but a real leader we don't have. We need more than one player taking the burden on their shoulders. You can't buy leadership.
Q: What is the extent of the scouting network?
A: Erdem: Every year we have improved our scouting network in terms on contacts and the amount of people watching games, so that is something that is working. When you are a smaller club it’s not easy to have to most extensive scouting network.
The players from the north is very hard to bring to the south because you will have to pay over the odds. We have had players come from abroad like Enzio Boldewijn so we are watching games in Europe which is a good thing.
Q: Do you feel fans are too fickle/knee jerk?
A: Erdem: I think the fans are the most important. We are all servants to the club. We have to try and do our best as servants and we have to try and make you happy. Fans can be very harsh at times but however, you have to understand. You guys who come to every game, travel away, go to Carlisle, it’s not easy. I think the fans are very important and that’s why the board has invited the CTSA to meetings and had frank discussions. We have always tried to be transparent. The fans are probably the most important thing at the club, they are the heartbeat.