Crawley Town head coach Harry Kewell wants his defence to work hard against Barnet’s strikers

Crawley Town head coach Harry Kewell. Picture by Steve Robards
Crawley Town head coach Harry Kewell. Picture by Steve Robards

Crawley Town head coach Harry Kewell believes his hard-working defence may be the key to keeping out Barnet’s attack this afternoon.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on his 39th birthday yesterday, he reckons his centre-backs have what it takes to deal with the Bees’ front men.

Barnet lie four points ahead of Reds in 14th place with three wins, two draws and two defeats coming from their first eight matches.

So far this season former Tottenham Hotspur youth and England under-19s international Shaq Coulthirst has scored six goals while French striker Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro and Portuguese midfielder Mauro Vilhete have scored three each.

Their topscorer over the last few years, former Crawley player John Akinde missed the start of the season through injury, has scored 80 goals in 134 appearances since 2014.

Kewell said: “We are looking forward to playing Barnet who are doing well.

“We have watched a few of their games and they are a good team.

“It is going to be a very difficult game for us, but we accept all challenges.

Kewell praised his centre-backs for the way they have given solid displays against tough opponents in the last few games.

“I actually felt we’ve dealt with a lot of people’s strikers over the last few weeks. Josh Yorwerth and Josh Lelan have been fantastic.

“We had a difficult task last week (against Notts County) with the two strikers and I felt we did more than enough.

“We had an unfortunate slip which cost us in the end.

“But as far as playing-wise, ability-wise in the air, about playing out, I felt we have competed, I don’t feel any striker has dominated my two centre-halves.

“So we’ll go away and we know what dangers Barnet bring, especially up front, and we are cautious of that.

“But I’ll be looking for the same kind of work-rate my two centre-backs have been producing.”