Gregory relishes Chelsea test

John Gregory

John Gregory

First published in Sport by

Crawley Town manager John Gregory is relishing a different test as the new season preparations conclude with a visit of Chelsea today.

The Blues are sending their under-21s side to play Crawley at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.

It is the final game of a busy pre-season programme for the Reds which has already seen them play seven matches.

Gregory believes each game has presented a different challenge to his side – and today’s target will be getting hold of the ball.

The Reds boss said: “Under-21 football is all about keeping possession of the football. As we saw from Fulham, they kept the ball exceptionally well against us and I can expect Chelsea to do exactly the same.

“They have been very successful at youth level and of course when they step up to under-21 they have their own tournament which they won last season. I expect it to be a really tough game for us.

“It is another learning process for all our squad, playing against a team that are very good at possession football. It is another big test before the real test a week later.”

Gregory still hopes to add a couple of players to his squad before the League One opener at Barnsley next Saturday and Wycombe Wanderers defender Anthony Stewart could be given another opportunity to win a deal this afternoon along with former Fulham winger Charles Banya.

But the Crawley manager is generally happy with the way his squad rebuilding has gone this summer, having brought in 15 new players already.

He said: “We are looking great. I have been very pleased how we are shaping up. I would like us to be a little bit more ruthless in front of goal.

“We are learning about each other. That will continue. I don’t think that will stop. Going into the August, September, October, they will still be learning about each other.”

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