Crawley boss John Gregory has told his players they must believe they can upset League One’s big boys in their own backyard if they are to prevent their season petering out.
Gregory is still confident Reds can make a late challenge for a play-off spot despite going into tonight’s game at Port Vale 14 points adrift of sixth-placed Walsall – although they do have three games in hand.
The former Aston Villa boss has been encouraged by the performances of his side in their last two games which has seen them draw 2-2 away to promotion chasing Coventry City and Rotherham.
But he says they must develop the mental strength to convert those draws into victories to begin closing the gap on the top six – and wants them to start at Vale Park tonight.
Gregory said: “We’ve had some incredibly tough away matches in the last few weeks. Port Vale is going to be another tough one and we’ve got Brentford coming up too but so far we’ve come through them well.
“The fact we were disappointed not to have come away with all three points at Coventry and Rotherham shows how well we played in both those games.
“People have asked me whether I would have settled for a point before the game at Rotherham but I wouldn’t have because I truly believe we can go to those kind of places and win.
“I haven’t seen anything that should frighten us since I’ve been at the club. Rotherham must be one of the most daunting places to go in this division because of the stadium and the opposition but we outplayed them in the second half.
“But if we really have aspirations of one day getting out of this division and playing in the Championship then you have to go to those places and win.
Port Vale (4-4-2, probable): Neal; Grimmer, Davis, Robertson, Yates; Myrie-Williams, Lines, Griffith, Loft; Pope, Tomlin. Subs from: Knott, Johnson, Hugill, Williamson, Shuker, Birchall, Dodds, Lloyd.
Crawley (4-4-2, probable): P Jones; Connolly, Walsh, McFadzean, Sadler; Adams, Simpson, Dicker, Torres; Clarke, Tubbs. Subs from: Maddison, Essam, Drury, M Jones, Malins, Alexander, Proctor, Sinclair.