Crawley Town will 'begin again' after Walsall defeat

Crawley Town head coach Gabriele Cioffi. Picture by Steve Robards
Crawley Town head coach Gabriele Cioffi. Picture by Steve Robards

Crawley Town must 'begin again' after today (Saturday)'s 3-2 home loss against Walsall in League Two according to head coach Gabriele Cioffi.

James Clarke's lightning bolt gave the Saddlers a 14th minute lead before Elijah Adebayo doubled the visitor's advantage on 27 minutes.

The Reds reduced the deficit through Ashley Nathaniel-George's spot kick three minutes before half-time. But the impressive Wes McDonald restored Walsall's two goal lead just a minute later.

Crawley huffed and puffed but had to wait until second half stoppage time to find a breakthrough. Josh Payne's strike gave the Reds hope of yet another late revival but they couldn't force the equaliser as they dropped to tenth in the table.

The defeat was Crawley's first in League Two in six, and their first in eight in all competitions.

Cioffi admitted that the Reds were 'a bit unlucky' to lose their unbeaten streak but conceded they have 'had a lot of luck in the past'.

He said: "When there is an end there is a new beginning. So we begin again.

"I think the performance was decent considering the rumour and noise during the week.

"The episode that changed the game was when it went to 3-1. It changed the game because we conceded a silly goal.

"We were a bit unlucky but we've had a lot of luck in the past. We have nothing we regret."

Crawley Town have played five game in a fortnight, including their famous penalty shootout win against Championship outfit Stoke City in the Carabao Cup.

Despite the Reds' gruelling schedule, Cioffi played down any notion of tiredness within the squad, calling them 'resilient'.

He added: "I think we are a resilient squad. Myself, I'm a resilient person. We are like a mirror.

"We thought it would be enough with 75 per cent of our attitude.

"But I'm happy. Because we lost we have a chance to improve."

The Reds host Norwich City U21s in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night before they visit fourth-placed Forest Green Rovers in League Two on Saturday.

Cioffi revealed that his squad will be using the time between now and Tuesday night to 'touch on the points where they need to improve', and hoped victory over the young Canaries would provide a springboard for their trip to The New Lawn.

He continued: "We have tomorrow morning to recharge the batteries.

"We'll clear our minds and we'll touch on the points where we need to improve.

"We'll start with the first game against Norwich.

"We want to get the three points to give us confidence in the tournament and for the game against Forest Green."