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Barker wary of Reds' progress
Boss Richie Barker admits Crawley are not ready for the Championship.
Reds have made a flying start to life in League One following promotion and could go second today if they pick up their fourth away win in five games at Brentford.
That has raised hopes that a third successive promotion could be on the cards but Barker has warned that could be potentially damaging for the club.
The former Albion striker believes consolidating in League One would be better for a club which was still playing non-league football 18 months ago.
Barker said: “I think we have exceeded even the most optimistic of fans’ expectations with the way we have started the season but we mustn’t get carried away.
“There is no point in being third at the start of October, it is where you are at the end of April that matters.
“We know there are likely to be tough times around the corner.
“What people need to remember is that this team are not just newly promoted but have come up twice in the last two years so to be where we are is a massive bonus.
“People might start talking about the possibility of getting into the Championship but we need to stay at this level for a while. That is still my aim.”
While Barker believes Crawley have a squad capable of mounting a promotion challenge this season the infrastructure at the club is still lagging behind.
That was highlighted this week when training had to be called off on Wednesday as the council owned Bewbush training ground was unfit for use. Reds trained at Christ’s Hospital school until six weeks ago and are still looking for a new training base to use while Bewbush is brought up to standard.
Barker added: “The club is moving quickly behind the scenes but there are still things which are not even up to League One standard, let alone the Championship.
“The infrastructure is being improved all the time but the issue with the training ground shows how much still needs to be done. That is why I say we need to focus on staying at this level for a while rather than looking to the next level.
“It is great that people keep believing and want to see the club continue to progress and if we keep doing that then eventually we should get there.”