Glenn Morris has praised Crawley fans’ backing in defeat – as Reds spell out the value of bigger home crowds.

The League Two outfit have set an initial target of 2,000 home and neutral fans per match at the Broadfield Stadium.

Operations director Kelly Derham has confirmed such turnouts would help the club improve infrastructure as well as offering head coach Gabriele Cioffi more money for players.

That would be a double boost with Reds set to announce a successor to Checkatrade as stadium sponsors before the end of 2018.

Reds pulled in 2,667 for last week’s visit of MK Dons, of which just 454 were in the away sections.

That was the first time this season the attendance had remained above the 2,000 mark without including visiting supporters.

But they were treated to a 4-0 Dons win, ending Reds’ run of 17 points from their previous seven home fixtures.

Now goalkeeper Glenn Morris has urged those who suffered last Saturday to come back and keep cheering.

Morris said: “The fans have been good.

“They were chanting and singing even when it was 4-0.

“That was the disappointing thing. It was a big crowd and maybe some won’t want to come back which is a shame, because at home we have generally been putting in good performances.

“Hopefully they will come back.

“I think people can see what we are trying to do, and the way we are trying to play.

“I don’t think 4-0 tells the whole story.

“They came to sit back in and catch us on the break and their gameplan worked.

“That’s credit to how we have been playing, for them to come and do that.

“Exeter did the same thing and that was a game we should have won.

“Of course, you can’t say we should have won last week.”

Reds were poised to move into the play-off places when they led Exeter at the Broadfield Stadium recently.

However, they conceded a soft counter-attack equaliser and were then thumped 5-1 at Tranmere before the home setback against MK.

That has left them adrift of the top seven but such concerns take a back seat today as they go to League One outfit Southend in the first round of the FA Cup.

Morris said: “It might be the break we need.

“We have had a couple of bad performances and it’s nice to put them behind us.

“We are not a million miles away from being a good team.

“I thought against MK Dons there were times when we could have scored.

“We had chances. Of course, it’s different when you are 3-0. Maybe they had eased off a bit but I felt we still had a chance.

“They are a good teams and we let ourselves down defensively.

“It’s only a couple of games but the way the results went isn’t nice.

“Hopefully we can put that to bed.”

Morris revealed how Cioffi had reacted to the first hammerings of his tenure.

He said: “The manager has been fine.

“He knows where we have been going wrong.

“He has been positive. He knows we were a bit slack in certain situations Maybe this will be a bit of the mental toughness we might need.”

The Roots Hall trip gives underdogs Crawley a chance to win an FA Cup tie for the first time since 2013.

It also sends Morris back to one of his former clubs.

He said: “From what I gather Southend like to go quite direct and get it to their forwards quickly.

“They can play out from the back when they choose to, similar to us. But they have been a bit hit and miss in their form.

“I’m reasonably happy with my form although no goalkeeper is happy when so many goals are going in.

“Now I’d like to get back to keeping some clean sheets but it’s not just me. It comes down to everyone.

“If we can get back to that, we know we have players who can score goals.”