Crawley Town’s head coach Dermot Drummy believes playing his fringe players in their Sussex Senior Cup quarter-final win against Whitehawk was a great opportunity.
He made 11 changes from the side which beat Yeovil 2-0 on January 2, fielding an entirely different starting line-up which beat the Brighton-based National Legaue South club 3-1.
For him it means his players will be better preparared for League 2 matches.
Drummy said: “In the first half I was pleased, second half I thought we were a bit mentally and physically drained, which is to be expected, so I’m not going to be too harsh in my judgement.
“Everybody accredited themselves well in the first half and when I pick the team on Saturday, the boys I bring on the subs’ bench, I know have had a good 45 minutes.
“I was pleased in the first half with the link-up play and the movement. Levels dropped off in the second half.
“It’s a nice opportunity for the boys to get 90 minutes and get a game mentalility, especially at the Checkatrade in front of a good crowd and have the stimulus to play a game.”
Drummy believes you cannot beat competitive match-practice to push players to perform at their best.
He said: “I think that’s far better than training and running after the game.
“I didn’t want to make any substitutions but Jordan Roberts got a knock on his knee, so Enzio Boldewijn came on, despite already having a training session with (assistant head coach) Matt Gray this afternoon, so was a bit tired.
“I wanted the players to get 90 minutes, that’s what you normally have with Reserve sides, which we don’t have at the moment.
“The training regime is one thing but the ability to play and get their brains stimulated is very important.”
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