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Reds fans urged to turn out in force
Boss Richie Barker has challenged Crawley’s players to rise to the occasion for one of the biggest league games in the club’s history.
A record crowd is expected at the Broadfield Stadium tomorrow for the televised clash with Portsmouth with the visitors selling out their allocation of 1,600 tickets.
Crawley’s home gates have been disappointing so far but Barker hopes the fans will turn out in force to smash the previous record of 4,723 set against Crewe in April.
And he hopes the atmosphere generated will inspire his side to record a fifth consecutive home win against a club which were in the Premier League only two seasons ago.
Barker said: “We have not had massive gates so far but you have to build these things gradually. You can’t go from 2,500 to 6,500 overnight.
“Hopefully these are the type of games which will capture people’s imagination and they turn out to break the record attendance.
“It should be a great atmosphere. They are bringing a large contingent and the two sets of fans tend to bounce off each other. These types of games are the ones you look forward to and I expect the players to thrive on it rather than go under.
“Most of the lads have had big cup games at Crawley before or the new ones have experienced it at their previous clubs so hopefully it will lift them and we get an extra few percent out of them as a result.”
Barker has also played down speculation that former striker Matt Tubbs could be set to return to Crawley on loan from Bournemouth.
Tubbs has only started one game for the Cherries so far this season and was left out of the squad for Tuesday’s JP Trophy game against Portsmouth.
Barker added: “There is certainly nobody coming in. That is us settled for now.”