'We were supposed to be the basement boys' - Crawley Town star relishing play-off race

Crawley Town striker Danilo Orsi said the club has proven a lot of people wrong this season.
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The Reds made it back-to-back wins in League Two with a superb 1-0 victory at rivals AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday (February 20).

The result – secured by Orsi’s late goal – leaves the Reds in 14th place but just two points short of the play-off places. They have a game in hand on three of their nearest competitors.

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Crawley are one of nine teams which just three points of the top seven – which sets up an entertaining play-off battle in the remaining games.

Danilo Orsi has scored 17 goals for Crawley Town this season. Photo: Natalie Mayhew (Butterfly Football)Danilo Orsi has scored 17 goals for Crawley Town this season. Photo: Natalie Mayhew (Butterfly Football)
Danilo Orsi has scored 17 goals for Crawley Town this season. Photo: Natalie Mayhew (Butterfly Football)

"Credit has to go to the gaffer [Scott Lindsey] and staff who came in January,” Orsi said.

"They kept them in the league, steadied the boat, and said ‘this is how we want to play’.

"Everyone wrote us off at the start of the season, let’s not forget that. We were supposed to be the basement boys.

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"We were supposed to be down and out and were going to get the lowest points tally in League Two. Here we now, playing good football, people are talking about the way we going about our business. It’s a credit to them and a credit to the club.”

Orsi said Crawley ‘are not looking too far ahead’.

"Where you end up, is where you deserve to end up,” he said. “We have 14 games to go and have something to play for.

"We don’t want to have a season with ten games to go and nothing to play for. It just peters out. We want to make something of the season.

“No one in the building thought we were anywhere near [as bad] what people were saying. It never crossed anyone’s mind that we would be any sort of dog fight this year.

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"Maybe the recruitment raised a few eyebrows, with a few boys coming in from non league, but they have taken to it fantastically. The way we play suits the players we have in the building.”

Orsi’s winning goal at Wimbledon was his 17th goal of the season.

He said: "I’m really happy. I wanted to come here and play games, first and foremost. Working with the gaffer and his staff has been fantastic.

"I’m really enjoying it. The goals are going in but my overall game has improved, which I’m really happy about. I know the goals will come.

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"It’s my natural game. Working on the other bits to make me more complete.

"The way the gaffer has us playing is creating us loads of chances. It really suits me.

“I have people around with me with real talent. You know they will create something or have a shot and I can get a rebound. It’s a joy to play with them.

“I am showing another side to my game rather than just goals.”

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Orsi said it was a ‘really tough game’ at the Cherry Red Records Stadium but Lindsey’s team were ‘spot-on all over’.

He added: “We defended superbly again. Another clean sheet for Corey [Addai] and I’m buzzing for him and the rest of the boys at the back.

"It’s a great derby win. We know how important it was coming into this game. It’s massive.

“We all felt we owed them [Wimbledon] one and we owed our gaffer and staff a performance after last time we played them [2-1 home defeat]. And we owed the fans more importantly.”

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On his goal, he added: “To do it in front of the fans was fantastic. We talk about it all the time about being in the right place at the right time and body shapes.

“The hard work is paying off for the staff and the boys are putting in superb performances.”

Orsi also spared a word for the 529 fans who made the trip.

“They were right behind us,” he said. “They sucked the ball into the net. They didn’t stop.

"They far out-sang the Wimbledon fans so credit to them and I’m glad we could send them home with three points.”

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