Paul Connolly has revealed Crawley’s ambition was one of the main reasons he decided to drop down from the Championship.
The experienced right-back is expected to make his Reds debut away to Walsall today after signing earlier this week.
Apart from loan spells with Portsmouth and Preston, Connolly has played exclusively in the Championship since 2004 in spells with Plymouth, Derby, Sheffield United, Leeds United and Millwall.
He was hoping to stay in the second tier of English football after being released by the Lions last month.
But the chance to be part of John Gregory’s ambitious plans for Crawley appealed to the 30-year-old.
From the moment Gregory took over in December he has talked about leading the Reds into the Championship.
The task this season has been made harder by a series of postponements since the start of the year.
Crawley have fallen victims to the weather eight times in the last seven weeks, with their last five fixtures being called off.
They go into today’s match one place above the relegation zone but only 16 points behind Walsall in seventh with a remarkable six games in hand.
Connolly said: “The gaffer is a big name in the game. He is certainly not going to come to Crawley to stand still. He wants to take them forward and I want to be part of that.
“If you lose your ambition as a manager or a player there is no point doing what you are doing.
“The gaffer wants to get Crawley as high up the league as he can and kick on next season. It would be nice to play a little part in that.
“Certainly I have found since I have been here that it may be seen as a small club but they aren’t thinking like a small club. The gaffer is ambitious and hopefully the club can match that ambition.”