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Barker's message to Reds' fringe men
Boss Richie Barker has challenged Crawley’s fringe players to fight their way into the team or find a new club.
Reds progressed to the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last night with a 3-2 win over Gillingham thanks to a late goal from substitute Scott Neilson.
Barker made a host of changes for the match with the likes of Neilson and Scott Davies tasting their first action of the season.
Barker said: “It is difficult to get into the team at the moment as there are 13 or 14 players who are doing well enough to keep their place.
“It is up to the others to try to dislodge them by doing something different. One or two did that (last night) and made me aware that if a chance arises they are ready to give it a go.
“We have got some good players at the club and it is hard to keep everybody happy. They all have a future at the club but it is down to them.
“If they come and knock on my door and are not happy with the amount they are playing then fine but they have to fight their way into the team.”
Joe Walsh also marked his debut with a fine goal while Billy Clarke netted for the second time in three games to extend Crawley’s winning run to four matches.
Barker added: “I made some changes as I wanted to see some other players but we still wanted to win the game.
“I didn’t want to sacrifice our chance of winning the game so the performance ticked a lot of boxes in that some players got some minutes under their belt and we went through.
“We’ve got more chance of reaching Wembley in this competition than in the FA Cup or Capital One Cup. I never got there as a player so I would quite like to manage a team at Wembley.
“I don’t even know how many rounds there are but I know it is a lot so we won’t be getting carried away. It was important to keep that winning mentality though and we’ve done that.”