Goalscorer Meite staking claim for starting berth

Ibrahim Meite
Ibrahim Meite

Ibrahim Meite is setting his sights on more starts at Crawley Town.

The 21-year-old striker - on loan from Championship outfit Cardiff City - came off the bench to net in Reds' 2-0 home win over League 2 play-off chasers Mansfield Town on Saturday.

That strike was his second goal in as many matches, after he found the net in the EFL Trophy defeat to Fulham under-21's in Crawley's last outing.

Meite, whose started only five of the 13 league games that he's featured in this season, is looking to be involved in more matches from the outset now.

The striker's goal against Mansfield was his first at home in the league this season and Meite hopes to continue to find the back of the net - given more game time.

He said: "Goals is what it's all about as a striker. Hopefully I'll be able to get more starts and a couple more goals. I feel like the team done really well. Everyone put in 100 per cent, even the substitutes - Joe McNerney got a goal coming off the bench - and myself, I was just happy to get off the bench and help the team.

"I'm trying to push to the very top. This is a good experience and it's helping me learn a lot of things."

Meite started life with non-league Harrow Borough, before sealing a switch to Cardiff last January.

The 21-year-old forward featured twice for the Bluebirds' first-team at the back end of last season and is now gaining more experience with League 2 Reds.

After making the move up from non-league football, Meite admits he's been lucky to work with two managers at different ends of their careers in Neil (Warnock; Cardiff City boss) and Harry (Kewell; Crawley head coach).

"Obviously Neil (Warnock) is a veteran and he's done it for years and years," said Meite.

"Harry (Kewell's) played football at the highest level, so it's good to get information off the both of them and learn my trade properly. Everything they say I try to pick up and keep in my mind."

Saturday's home clash with Stags proved to be an emotional one for all involved at Crawley, with it being the first league game held at the Checkatrade Stadium since former head coach Dermot Drummy's death last month.

A minute's applause was held in his honour prior to kick-off and Meite was pleased Reds managed to deliver a victory.

He added: "It's was tough to be honest. Some of the players dedicated this match to the old manager, so it was good we managed to get the three points.

"I think it affected a lot of the players, some of them had known him since they were 14 years old. It was definitely tough, I could see it in some of the players faces."