Crawley Town boss Yems: Worst injury crisis I've had at any club has hampered progress
John Yems said Crawley Town's injury crisis, which he described as the worst he's ever experienced as a manager, has prevented the Reds from hitting top gear.
Key players, like Nick Tsaroulla, Tom Nichols and Jordan Tunnicliffe, have all missed large parts of Crawley's campaign through injury.
But, despite this setback, the Reds sit ninth in League Two, just outside the play-offs on goal difference, going into Saturday's clash with Sutton United.
Yems said: "We should be doing a lot better than what we've done. The annoying thing, from our point of view, is that we've had the worst injury crisis I've had at any club.
"Let's not dress it up like we're trying to be wonder coaches, we've just had to fill holes sometimes.
"It's a compliment to the boys that they're doing it."
When asked if Crawley could challenge at the upper echelons when back to a full compliment of players, Yems said: "If I knew that I'd get someone to put every penny I've got on us to win the league.
"The atmosphere coming into work is more important. That attracts good people and gets the players playing.
"The lads that are working hard, and we have a lot of lads that are working hard, and there's not many here I'd change for anybody.
"It's a compliment to them. If you get a shirt you better keep it."
Reds midfielder Jack Powell said the patchwork team have shown real 'togetherness' in putting the injury crisis behind them, and attaining their lofty league position.
He said: "Once you put a shirt on and get on the pitch it's a battle, and a bit of a war, especially at this level.
"A lot of teams try to go down the physical route and we stand up to that every week.
"We like to get the ball down and play. We've got a lot of good footballers but we know winning the right to play comes before anything.
"With the result last week [away at Rochdale], we put in a lot of hard work to protect a 1-0 lead.
"It's down to the characters and the personalities. I think if you can put that together, you don't necessarily have to have the best players in the league.
"That togetherness, that camaraderie of being together day in day out brings that hard work and winning mentality as well."