Boss Dermot Drummy has hailed the contribution of James Collins - as the prolific striker homes in on making Crawley Town history.

Collins scored his 20th goal of what has been a superb debut season with Reds, following his arrival on a free transfer from Northampton last summer, in the 3-0 victory over Leyton Orient on Saturday.

The 26-year-old is only the second Crawley player to achieve the feat since the club won promotion to the Football League six years ago after Izale McLeod bagged 21 in the 2015/16 season as Reds were relegated from League One.

Two of McLeod’s tally came in cup competitions meaning no Crawley player has ever hit 20 Football League goals in one campaign. Tyrone Barnett and Matt Tubbs were both on course to achieve the milestone in Crawley’s first year in the Football League before they left for Peterborough and Bournemouth respectively midway through the season.

Collins is currently on 18 from 39 appearances in League Two and has seven more matches to draw level and then eclipse McLeod. He has already surpassed his previous best goal haul for a season which was 18 in 2012/13 for Swindon.

Drummy said: “He’s a fantastic player. He leads from the front every single game.

“He doesn’t always have a great game but he runs his heart out and is a real leader. He’s been promoted out of this division a couple of times and fights like we are pushing for promotion even though we aren’t.

“He is the type of player you always want in your side.”

Meanwhile, Drummy insists that Crawley are making slow progress – both on and off the pitch.

The Reds boss met with owner Ziya Eren following the victory over Orient which took them past their points tally of 47 from last season with seven games still remaining.

But Drummy says the work being done behind the scenes is just as important to making Crawley a success.

He said: “We build to get as high as we can over the next seven games so we can look back at the season and see if we have made progress on and off the pitch. Ultimately we are judged on what we do on the pitch but what we do off it affects that so we are trying to make the club more professional.

“I come from clubs (Arsenal and Chelsea) where winning is inbred and want to bring that here. We are definitely making progress. It is not wonderful progress so we have got to push and fight for things to make us better.”