Crawley attackers need to ease pressure on the defence - Mike Jones

Crawley's Mike Jones scores against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby)
Crawley's Mike Jones scores against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby)
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Mike Jones was full of praise for Crawley Town’s back four after conceding just two goals in their last five games, but says at the other end the club’s attacking players need to be more ruthless.

The midfielder scored only his second league goal of the season on Saturday to hand Reds a 1-0 win over Colchester.

Jones took his goal well, latching onto a clever Billy Clarke chip before round the goalkeeper and scoring from the angle.

Reds had to withstand plenty of pressure in the second half to see out the victory and a clean sheet, and with the club having missed chances to take more than the two points they did from the three games prior to Saturday, Jones says they need to be more clinical in the final third.

Jones said: “We are solid at the back to be fair but sometimes, like against Shrewsbury we panic when we go in the lead, but we done well to stick it out today and the back four were excellent to keep a clean sheet.

“Hopefully in the next couple of games if we do score (first) we can go on and kill the game off instead of a tendency sometimes to sit back and invite a bit of pressure.

“The gaffer was saying the last few games we’ve missed chances to put games to bed and luckily today it didn’t come back to bite us again. But as I’ve said the back four were a different class, they stood up to everything they gave us.”

Jones scored the winner on the opening day against Coventry City, and from inside his own half in the JP Trophy defeat to Newport County. So the former Bury player was understandably delighted to net for the first time since early October to end his drought and hand his side a first League One win in four matches.

“Obviously it’s nice to score and it was a good three points because the last couple of games we thought we should have got all three points and just missed out so it was nice to get back to winning ways especially at home,” Jones said.

“It was a great ball by Bill (Billy Clarke) to be fair because I’d made the run, it was a tough ball over the top and he put it right in my path so I just had to take it round the keeper and keep my eye on it, especially on this pitch. I could have fallen on the floor or put it in the back of the net, so luckily I put it in the back of the net.”

Jones, who has been played on the wing under John Gregory having played most of the season in the middle, is one of a number of Crawley players out of contract in the summer.

The 26-year-old though would not be drawn on his future beyond this season, only saying he wanted to continue his good run of form with the players still harbouring dreams of a late play-off push.