It is just two days to the start of the new football season and it is one that Crawley Town fans can greet with a fair degree of optimism.
A couple of spells with decent results proved sufficient to keep the Reds away from the risk of dropping down into the National League, but for the supporters it was too close for comfort.
The perils of fighting a League Two season with an insufficient budget were real enough. This new season could be different.
Manager Dermot Drummy has been busy in the transfer market and has made 16 signings.
He has been helped by having an adequate budget from owner Ziya Eren to ensure he can offer decent terms to the players he considers are best able to deliver the style of football he wants.
That at least means that it is his judgment that will be put to the test rather than the size of the operating budget. I am certain Dermot prefers it that way.
Our future success or failure remains very difficult to surmise.
There could be too many new players and the departures of Lanre Oyebanjo and Jon Ashton disappointed especially as we had been unable to hang onto star man Gwion Edwards.
Early season results are all-important.
So can the revamped Crawley Town hit the ground running? There will be a lot of pressure on the strikers and Dermot is happy in having five to choose from. The greatest pressure will be on James Collins as his playing record is likely to mean some fans will expect goals from him as a matter of course. We all know scoring is not the simple task it sometimes appears from the terraces. Eyes will also be on the probable success of former loanee Rhys Murphy who has signed for one of the Reds’ least popular opponents – Forest Green Rovers.
Whilst the manager has been encouraged by the form and promise shown by his front players he has expressed concerns about inconsistencies in his squad’s defensive play. I often allude to the role of our coaches and it would seem that this is their most pressing concern. For my own part I am relieved that we have three goalkeepers on the books. No doubt Matt Harrold is as well.
Noisy home support would encourage the new squad but this is not the Reds supporters’ way. They usually need a strong performance on the field to stoke up the enthusiasm and the hope is that Dermot’s intentions and style of play might do just that.
Friendly matches rarely breed enthusiasm and the scoreless draw at Aldershot won’t help but we all want the real thing.
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