Whittingham pleased with “ground out” Crawley win and clean sheet

Crawley's Mike Jones scores against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby)
Crawley's Mike Jones scores against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Assistant manager Guy Whittingham was happy to see Crawley get back to winning ways by “grinding out” a narrow victory over Colchester.

The 1-0 victory was a first win in four League One matches and moved Reds up to 14th in the table and Whittingham also pointed out the importance of keeping a clean sheet.

He said: “You’re always happy when you win and you’re always happy when you put in, I think the word’s a grinding performance today and it’s a word we use a lot and I think we had to do that today.

“We found ourselves under a lot of pressure second half with a lot of balls put into our box and with Kyle McFadzean getting man of the match it shows he got his head on a lot of things as well as a lot of the defenders.”

Mike Jones scored the only goal of the game on 41 minutes, latching onto a clever Billy Clarke chip over the defence to score.

“Billy’s one of those creative players who can open defences up and he did that with his pass,” Whittingham said. “But I have to say Mike Jones took his goal really well, a really calm head to go round the goalkeeper and slot it.

“We got into some good positions and that’s something we urge the players to do, be a bit more ruthless when the ball’s breaking for us.

“And I think we made better decisions second half but the ball was bobbling around and we couldn’t get a shot off.

“Take nothing away from the performance in terms of grinding out a result, it’s a great result to have a 1-0 with a clean sheet, that’s what you’re after.”

The victory was a big shot in the arm ahead of a massive home game on Tuesday against league leaders Wolves.

Crawley are 15 points off sixth-placed Peterborough with four games in hand and Whittingham is refusing to rule out the chances of still making the play-offs.

“We had a long break so to come back and win the games we did was a huge achievement so to get back to winning ways is good timing with a tough game coming up.” Whittingham said.

“You’ve got to look above you and see what’s possible and you only have to look at Sheffield United. Before they went on that terrific run of ten wins I think and seven victories in the league, conceding only one goal, and before that they were losing left, right and centre so anything’s possible.”

And speaking about hosting Wolves on Tuesday he added: “It’s one that we should really look forward to, I believe it will be a full house and these are the games that you’re in football for, to take on the team who are the best in the league at the time and to prove we’re not a bad little outfit ourselves.”