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Crawley keep door ajar for released players
Crawley boss John Gregory insists the door is not completely closed on the eight players released on Monday.
Gregory opted not to offer new contracts to Paul Jones, Jonny Maddison, Mark Connolly, Paul Connolly, Gary Dicker, Sergio Torres, Rory Fallon and Billy Clarke as he starts rebuilding his squad on a smaller budget.
Jamie Proctor, Mike Jones, Dannie Bulman and Mat Sadler were offered new deals and have until the end of the month to decide whether they wish to remain.
Gregory admits even those he wants to keep could move on due to the salary cuts he has been forced to implement as they seek to find better deals elsewhere.
However, Gregory says there is a possibility that some of those who have been released or chose not to sign new deals could still be back for the start of next season.
He said: “I’ve said to them all come July if you haven’t got anywhere you might want to come back, even the ones I have let go.
“I’ve told them all to keep in touch as I might take them back if I can’t get what I want. Sometimes it is a case of better the devil you know.”
The mass clearout on Monday means Gregory has been left with just five senior professionals – Josh Simpson, Connor Essam, Joe Walsh, Kyle McFadzean and Andy Drury – confirmed for next season along with academy products Ryan Richefond and Bradley Isaacs.
Even if all four players who have been offered new deals agree to sign – something that is highly unlikely with Mike Jones, pictured, and Proctor both expected to move on – it still leaves Gregory facing a massive rebuilding job this summer.
And the Reds boss admits he might not have his squad in place until a couple of weeks before the start of next season.
Gregory added: “It’s not going to be easy to recruit. I had a conversation with Steve (Cotterill, Bristol City manager) on Saturday and we both felt that it could end up going into July and possibly August until you get the ones you want.
“Players will wait and wait because they think they can get more elsewhere but then might have to take the deal you offered back in May out of desperation if nothing comes up.”
Meanwhile, Gregory has revealed that Crawley will play pre-season friendlies against Chelsea, Albion and Fulham at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
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