Crawley Town – meeting the opposition.

After picking up a great point on the road against Forest Green Rovers, a game which finished 0-0, Micky Mellon’s Tranmere are next in action against Crawley Town who have had a fairly successful start to the campaign themselves. 

Ahead of the League Two encounter at Prenton Park, I spoke to @WattReuben about all things Town, Tranmere and the upcoming game in general. He also told me about the experiences he’s had throughout the past ten years supporting the club.

How long have you been a Crawley Town supporter and how did you first come across the club?

I have been supporting them since February 2011, getting a love for the club when Crawley played Man Utd in the FA cup. 

What are your best and worst experiences supporting Town?

The best experience was probably us beating Leeds United last season, although we were all having to watch from home. In person, the best experience was probably beating Stoke or Norwich in the League Cup two seasons ago.

The worst experience was probably getting relegated from League 1.

Random fact about the club/the area?

We are one of a few Football League teams to have never played at either the old or new Wembley!

We’re currently two months into the 2021/22 campaign but what are your thoughts and expectations for the next eight months and how do they compare to those that you had at this stage of last season?

We had a poor start to the season, however, we, as a team, do seem to be finally starting to play some proper football and are a match for anyone. This week Gary Neville said that Crawley was the best team Salford has played this season. I should imagine we will be mid-table come the end. If we are lucky with injuries and January signings then we may have a small chance of scraping into the playoffs. Last campaign, like normal, we started well and towards the end started dwindling. Fingers crossed that that doesn’t happen again!

John Yems is the current Crawley manager. However, what are your thoughts on him and the way he approaches games from a tactical perspective?

I am sure you have seen in his interviews that he is like marmite in that you love him or you hate him. I personally love him, I think he is a proper old school manager. He doesn’t do it for the money, he does it ‘cos he loves football and loves Crawley. There are occasions where fans question his decisions, such as signing Mark Wright, but Yems wouldn’t do anything to hurt the club.

Who are the owners of the club? What are your thoughts on them and are there any current off field projects that are exciting fans?

We are owned by Ziya Eren, a Turkish businessman and steel magnate. We hear from him when things are going very well, we hear from him where things aren’t doing too great. 9 times out of 10 though, we don’t hear from him directly but via the CEO, Erdem Konyar. At the moment there aren’t any off field projects to be excited about. The main thing for the club is surviving. We have one of if not the lowest wage budgets in the football league and so we just want a surviving club at the end.

Who are your key players and danger men?

Nick Tsaroulla – A left back who is best known for his goal against Leeds United. He is both good defensively as well as a big threat going forward.

Tom Nichols – Our main striker who will quite happily get double figure goals this season.

If we are to take a look at the transfer recruitment the club were able to complete this summer, what are your thoughts on the incomings and outgoings? Also, would you have wanted anything more to have happened?

We have brought in a range of experience and youngsters. For example, signing players like Joel Lynch, Mark Marshall and Kwesi Appiah who have all had big league experience and are able to tutor and teach the youngsters. Crawley has and always will be a selling club. Buying young to then sell off in a few seasons. We have signed players like  Ludwig Francillette, Alex Battle and Owen Gallacher who I hope will be playing up the leagues in years to come.

What do you think of Tranmere as a club in general and who do you believe are there key men?

I don’t know loads about Tranmere apart from the incident with them being relegated due to Covid. You’re on my list of teams that I should imagine will be up fighting for the play offs and promotion. You have ex Crawley player Josh Dacres-Cogley who was immense for us and I am sure will make an impact for you. You also have some key players in Jay Spearing, Nicky Maynard and Liam Feeney.

Finishing our conversation off, what is your score prediction for the upcoming encounter?

I am really looking forward to this match and I am going to say 3 – 1 Crawley with Nichols, Appiah and Dallison scoring.

‘I’m sure you’ve probably seen it in his interviews, manager John Yems is a lot like marmite’. Yems was appointed Town manager in 2019, being described by many as an old school manager. 

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