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Barker knows Reds face huge task
Boss Richie Barker admits it will take a Herculean effort if Crawley are to keep their play-off dream alive over the next five weeks.
Reds start a gruelling run of 11 games in 37 days today when they take on Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road, a schedule Barker has described as ludicrous.
The Crawley manager believes the number of games are bound to take its toll on his relatively small squad and will make it tough for them to close the 13-point gap on the top six, despite having games in hand on all their rivals.
Barker said: “We are going to play a quarter of the season in five weeks which is ludicrous when you consider that the season lasts nine months. Obviously the weather played a big part in that but I also think that something can be done to stop situations like this occurring.
“I would like to see more games played in the first half of the season as there is always a danger this might happen with games being postponed and cup runs. I don’t understand why we don’t play every midweek up until the end of November when the weather is better.
“It is not impossible (to make the play-offs) but it is going to be a massive test for us, especially as we only have 18 fit players for today’s game. If we pick up any injuries or suspensions we won’t be able to fill the bench for the game against Brentford on Tuesday.
“It is just unfortunate that our busiest time of the season in terms of games coincides with us having the smallest number of players available but we’ll give it our best shot.”
Meanwhile, Crawley have been boosted by the news that defender Joe Walsh will be available for the games against Bury and Carlisle at the start of next month. Walsh was due to link up with Wales under-21s ahead of their European Championship qualifying against England but the game has now been moved to later in the year.