Groves hails hosts’ Devil-ish defence
CRAWLEY Town assistant Paul Groves said his side had to show high levels of fitness and resilience to keep Town at bay in Crawley’s 1-0 win.
Swindon out shot Crawley 26 to eight and had 62 per cent of possession at The Broadfield but could not find a way past Brian Jensen and his backline.
A number of times Michael Smith, Ben Gladwin and Massimo Luongo had shots blocked and deflected away from goal, even after Louis Thompson’s red card.
Despite those statistical advantages and half-chances, clear-cut openings were rare for Town. Groves, speaking after the game, thought Crawley had to be at their defensive best to keep Swindon out.
“It was another difficult fixture today when you take into account how the game panned out for us, so another excellent win for us,” he said.
“I think in terms of the qualities that our players have and have shown, really over the course of pre-season and the beginning of the season, they’ve shown their resilience, they’ve shown excellent levels of fitness, a togetherness and they’ve all come to the fore there today.
“They’ve answered more questions, if you like at times. They’ve stuck in there and we’ve perhaps had the best opportunities in the first half, albeit they (Town) have had more possession.
“In the second half we get that one opportunity to put it away and Izale (McLeod) takes it and we take the three points.
“(A strong defence), it’s a foundation most clubs try to build from and we’re no different in that respect. You know, making sure we’re hard to play against, we’re difficult to break down, whatever type of style we’re going to play and we proved that today. “ Groves also admitted referee James Linington was not best placed to give the penalty, due to the speed of Crawley’s break but refused to be drawn on whether he thought it was the right decision.
Asked whether he thought Thompson got a touch on the ball the Crawley assistant said: “It’s difficult to say. I think it’s a quick counter attack, so it’s at pace, it looks like he is the last man, it’s difficult for the ref, he trying to catch things up, as such, and he makes a call that he feels is right on the day.
“Some you get, some you don’t, we took the opportunity, Izale does it in the end and finishes the chance.”
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