Crawley Town consultant Erdem Konyar heaped praise on injured skipper Jimmy Smith at last night's fans forum.
One fan asked for an update on injuries at the club. And in response head coach Gabriele Cioffi highlighted his record since he has been there.
He said: "When I first came there were 15 or 16 muscle injuries, since I have been in charge there has been one.
"Filipe had to miss eight games due to surgery on his finger. We have the problem with Ibrahim Meite now as he is not used to the standard of training. Just today I discovered Luke Gambin has an issue with his hip."
He was then asked about Jimmy Smith, who broke is ACL in September. Cioffi said: "He probably has a couple of months left so I feel it's a bit late for him to play again this season."
In response one fan asked: "Why was he given another year's contract if you didn't know what level he would be at when he comes back from the injury? Isn't that a gamble."
Cioffi responded: "You have to be thankful to aplayer that has given a lot to a club. It doesn't matter if they come back 99% or 110% this one player is our captain and you have to respect him and support him. It's too easy to trash people."
Konyar added: "There was contractual discussions at the time between Selim [Gaygusuz, director of footbal] and him and over the two years, this lad have given so much to the club and on the pitch he is an example. Sometimes it's not just about money and figures, it's about family.
"When we went to Lincoln away that guy took the team and we won. That is passion. I saw him on the day he got the injury and he was in tears. I just said to him you are going to be part of the coaching staff and part of this club.
"You need him around, he pushes the levels, he always demands 110% from the other players. Yes it's a risk, it's not just a footballing risk. This guy is Mr Crawley. He will be around here for a long time. He is an ambassador of professionalism, he is a good example to the youngsters, he has helped Gaby as well.
"He merits it for what he has done for the club. He is an important symbol for this club. This guy deserves it and there's more to football than contracts, these are people. You have to look after someone like that."
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