Looking ahead to Stevenage's Sky Bet League Two game away at Crawley on Saturday, we caught up with Journalist Sam Morton, of Sussex Newspapers to talk all thing Reds…
- Since John Yems' first game back as manager against Boro, how do you sum up the team’s season so far under him?
“Since Yems arrival, Crawley have found stability which they had previously lacked, particularly in defence. In his 15 games in charge, there have been eight draws, including four 0-0s, which shows the manager's philosophy to start at the back. That isn't to say Crawley have been dull to watch - their most recent goalless draw on Saturday against Carlisle could have been 5-5 on another day.
“You could say four wins is not the best return, but three defeats say progress is being made. If he can get the Reds back to their free-scoring form, which we saw earlier in the season, we will soon see them rise up the table.”
- What's been the Reds style of play under Yems with team only losing three in 15 games?
“As I said before, Yems has brought in defensive stability which has seen Crawley keep four clean sheets. The stats show that they have not had more of the ball over 90 minutes once in the last 15 games.
“Even when they thrashed Northampton 4-0, they only had 48 percent possession. In their 3-1 win over Scunthorpe, they only had 37 percent. Reds are always dangerous on the break with some quick forward players, including Reece Grego-Cox who has been a revelation this season.”
- Ollie Palmer didn't get off to the best of starts to the season, what do you put his great form down too lately?
“Palmer is at his best when he uses his strength to his advantage to hold the ball up and bring his team-mates into attacks.
“Earlier in the season, the partnership wasn't quite there with fellow striker Ashley Nadesan and Bez Lubala, who had been Crawley's best source of goals for several weeks. Since the arrival of Yems, Lubala has operated as more of a wide player whilst Palmer and Nadesan have been put up front together.
“This has worked wonders with the pair really clicking in recent weeks. This was epitomised in the dramatic 3-2 win over Grimsby where both players got on the scoresheet (twice in Palmer's case) and provided an assist for their strike partner.”
- What kind of game can the Stevenage fans expect on Saturday?
“If recent games are anything to go by, fans can expect Stevenage to have more of the ball, but they could struggle to break down a resilient Reds backline.
“If they do manage to get past the defence, they will then have to find a way to beat the 'Cat', Glenn Morris in goal, who never seems to be out of form. The Boro will also have to be wary of Reds' main attacking threats of Palmer, Nadesan and Grego-Cox.”
- Any team news going into the weekend?
“Last weekend, Yems said the injured Tom Dallison faces up to eight weeks out but fellow defender Joe McNerney was due to be back in training this week. Yems said he was hopeful of having a full squad to choose from this weekend, except Dallison.”
- Prediction and goalscorers?
“I’ll go with 2-0 Crawley with Palmer and Nadesan on the scoresheet.”