'They deserved to go through' — Gabriele Cioffi admits 'naive' Crawley Town didn't do enough to progress to Carabao Cup quarter-final

Gabriele Cioffi
Gabriele Cioffi

Colchester deserved to progress to the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup, according to Crawley Town boss Gabriele Cioffi, who maintains pride for his players.

Crawley's League Cup journey was brought to a heartbreaking end this (Tuesday) evening as they were comfortably beaten by a resilient Colchester side, despite having taken the lead after 20 minutes through a superb Dannie Bulman strike.

The visitors responded in the perfect way, though, equalising less than a minute later, and went on to comfortably win the game 3-1.

Cioffi said: "They kicked off, crossed and then goal. It didn't give us time to enjoy the goal. They went ahead in a lucky way because it hit the crossbar and went off the keeper. The ball hit the back of Michael (Luyumbula).

"If you suffer a goal like that, crossbar and then in, let's just say the difference was the confidence to go through.

"They scored the third one in our worst moment. Did we play well? No. At the end they capitalised with the chances that they had. We were naive. We conceded a bad opportunity just a second after we scored.

"The second goal killed us but the big lesson has to be we need to think about today.

"Saturday [4-0 defeat at home to Swindon] was a shambles with the head. We tried to react but I think they deserved to go through. If you ask me if I'll watch the game [quarter-final], no. But of course good luck to them."

Cioffi said Reds, who now miss out on a potential tie against a top Premier League side, had a dream to 'give the town another moment of glory'.

He added: "As human beings we are happy. We have to be proud of ourselves but we need to reach the 50 point mark [in the league].

"We were naive but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. This October has made us a lot stronger."

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