Ashdown urged to push for starting spot at Crawley

Jamie Ashdown

Jamie Ashdown

First published in Sport by

Crawley's new goalkeeper signing has been challenged to put pressure on regular No.1 Brian Jensen.

Jamie Ashdown, who has been without a club since being released by Leeds United at the end of last season, has joined the Reds on a short-term deal.

The 33-year-old began his career at Reading where he caught the eye of Arsenal and also played in the Premier League with Portsmouth.

Crawley were eager to bring in a second goalkeeper after loan signing Raphael Spiegel returned to West Ham. But manager John Gregory insists it is not just a case of providing cover for 39-year-old Jensen.

The Reds boss said: “He is somebody I have always known. Paul Groves (assistant) has worked with him before, Niall Clark our sports scientist has worked with him as well and I needed another goalkeeper.

“Jamie ticks all the boxes as far as I’m concerned.

“He will certainly put Brian under pressure. He is somebody Brian can work with on the training ground because he has been on his own for the last week since Raphael went back to West Ham.

“I’m very happy to have Jamie with us and he will continue to be with us until further notice.”

Ashdown spent eight years at Portsmouth, making 124 appearances.

He first caught the eye of Gregory while at Fratton Park.

Gregory said: “Jamie Ashdown is somebody I have been a big fan of for many years, particularly when he was at Portsmouth.

“I thought he was an outstanding goalkeeper. He forced his way into the team, then David James came along and took his place which I was somewhat surprised with because I thought Jamie was probably playing the best football of his career while he was at Portsmouth.”

Ashdown will go straight into the squad for today’s game away to MK Dons.

Matt Harrold, who had a knee operation after joining in the summer from Bristol Rovers, is in the squad for the game.

Skipper Josh Simpson is still missing with an ankle injury but is targeting next Saturday’s match at home to Rochdale for a possible return.

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