Tranmere Rovers are back in action tomorrow afternoon as Nigel Adkins’ side play host to play-off chasing Crawley Town.

The Whites claimed, arguably, their three most important points of the season last time out as they won 1-0 at Wrexham. 

It was a brilliant performance as striker Luke Norris netted early on, following a fantastic pass from deep by midfielder Regan Hendry, and the defence remained resilient.

Are the play-offs still on? Maybe. However, in order to get closer to the top seven, in which they are seven points away from, they will have to get the better of an in-form Crawley side, who are only a point away from seventh, with two games in hand.  

Ahead of the game, I spoke to, Chair of the Crawley Town Supporters Alliance, Reuben Watt. 

Hi Reuben, when did you start following Crawley Town? What was your first experience of the club like?

Thanks for letting me answer your questions! The club actually celebrated the 13th anniversary of me supporting it a month or so ago. It just so happened that it was the 13th anniversary of us playing Man Utd! I remember getting tickets for my first game later that year for my birthday. I have been hooked ever since!

What have been some of your best and worst moments as a Crawley fan? The club, formed in 1896, achieved promotion to the EFL for the first time in 2011.

For me, the best moment was getting promoted to the Football League. That jump made to the Football League was huge for us as a club and we were really able to stamp Crawley on the football map. The worst for me was probably getting relegated from League One. It was a very disappointing season however, it hopefully won’t be too long until we are back up there!

You’re the Chair of the Crawley Town Supporters Alliance. Could you talk to us about what the role entails and how long you have been doing it for?

I have been Chair since October 2022 and whilst it keeps me very busy, it is a privilege to be able to serve the Crawley Town fans as the Chair. A lot of my work is engaging with the Crawley Town Supporters Alliance (CTSA) members and hearing from them about their concerns for the club. All these concerns then get conveyed to the owners/staff at the football club. We have just started a CTSA podcast as a way to improve dialogue between us, the club and the fans.

Crawley Town are positioned ninth in League Two, having narrowly avoided relegation last time ‘round. What would you say are the main factors in the great upturn in form and how confident are you of the club ending up in a play-off spot?

Scott Lindsey. What more can I say about this man? He has without a doubt changed the football club for the better. He, along with the backroom staff, have brought in players who, at the beginning of the season, many were concerned about. However, many of these players have been real hidden gems. I am quietly confident that we will do it. Although it is important to not get too ahead of ourselves as we should be proud of where we are considering we were favourites to be relegated!

CTFC is owned by the cryptocurrency sports company, WAGMI United. What are the fans’ current feelings about them? It didn’t seem like a smooth start to their time in West Sussex.

Thankfully, this season the on the field stuff is doing the talking. Had results etc not been going out way then I feel like WAGMI would be getting a lot more stick than they are currently getting. For now, fans need to concentrate and support the boys, and the manager, on the pitch.

51-year-old Scott Lindsey was appointed manager in January 2023, after Swindon Town gave him his first EFL role in 2022. He has won 26 of his 65 games so far at Crawley, losing 28. What are your thoughts on him and his playing style? His preferred formation seems to be a 3-4-2-1.

He said after we lost 6-0 to Swindon that, because of the way he plays, they will occasionally be games where we lose dramatically. However, for most games we will be a force to be reckoned with. We play some great football, are easy to watch, possessive and can score some beautiful goals. Now that we have been playing that way for a whole season, the players have really gotten on board with this and can tell how great we will be for the rest of the season. The play-offs are ours to lose!

27-year-old London-born Danilo Orsi has netted 17 in 37 appearances this season, whilst also picking up three assists. Could you give us a quick scouting report on last summer’s 6ft2 signing?

He is a player who, like many of our players, wasn’t wanted by his old club. Scott saw that he had high xG but never had that final finish to put the ball in the net. Scott, with his backroom staff, have been working on that and now we have a fantastic player. I don’t want to give too much away in case Tranmere’s scouting team are reading!

Where would you say the game will be won/lost on Saturday for either side? Have Crawley got other great threats?

In midfield. We are without three of our better players (Kelly, Gladwin, and Williams) and so if we are to win on Saturday, Scott will need to find a suitable pairing to be able to play and dictate the game. Our goalkeeper will also need to remain in the great form that he is currently on as well.

The last time the two club’s met was in mid-September as Crawley won 3-2 with a last minute winner from Greek 23-year-old Klaidi Lolos, who had recently signed from Oxford City. Can you remember that game? What were your thoughts on the performance and the resilience shown to come back?

I mean what a game. Well, what a game for us anyways! I remember it well and who doesn’t love a last minute winner. Lolos is a player who has come on leaps and bounds this season. He is now starting to regularly find the back of the net. Scott believes and drills into all of the players about resilience and the never give up attitude. We could be two-nil down in the 85th minute and still find a way to draw, or even win as shown at our game against Bradford. That is why you NEVER leave a game early.

Crawley have only lost one of their last eight, following Monday night’s draw at home to Stockport County. What is your score prediction for the game at Prenton Park?

It should be a good game, particularly as Tranmere are also four games without a loss. I am going for a 3-1 win with Lolos, Orsi and Tsaroulla scoring for us!

In the January transfer window, goalkeeper Ryan Sandford was brought in from Dartford and a bit of overseas recruitment saw the club sign winger Jeremy Kelly from USA second tier side FC Tulsa. How have they both been getting on?

Sandford hasn’t played for us as our other GK, Addai, has been outstanding. Kelly got questioned when he first arrived, coming over from the 2nd division of the USA. However, he has been a great find and I can not wait to see him play more and more.

Finally, what are your thoughts on Nigel Adkins’ SWA? The Rovers beat Wrexham last time out, following their win against league leaders Mansfield Town.

We couldn’t have picked a worse time to play you guys. Two great results, wins against Mansfield and Wrexham. Since Adkins took over, you have taken a turn for the better (or worse in our case!). Adkins’ pedigree and experience has been crucial for you guys but let’s hope he has an off day on Saturday – Bring it on!

Tranmere Rovers return to Prenton Park this weekend, following a great win at Wrexham. Rovers have won all of their past three games at home however, Crawley will look to attack as they chase a spot in the play-off’s. 

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