Jimmy Smith has urged Crawley to dream big as he eyes a play-off push next season.

The Reds skipper has bought into boss Harry Kewell’s suggestion that Reds should aim to follow the example of Bournemouth as a small club who made it to the top.

And, on an individual basis, he can point to a former Leyton Orient colleague who made it to the Premier League with the Cherries.

Reds go to Port Vale on Saturday looking for a first win in eight outings.

But they were the better side against play-off contenders Swindon on Monday.

Asked whether Reds should be in the promotion picture this time next year, Smith told The Argus: “I hope so. We felt we were in the mix this season.

“At the beginning of the season people doubted us but we showed what we are about.

“We let ourselves down in the last couple of weeks.

“We were in an and around the mix and we have come away from it.

“I think next season could be our season.

“This season was a learning season, learning from the gaffer his style of play.

“You could see that at the beginning of the season.

“I think that was where we let ourselves down and where we could have gained more points.

“If we had had those points we could have been in a different situation now.

“We just need to keep doing what the gaffer has been telling us to do.

“We have been training hard, sticking together and I think next season we will know our roles.”

Reds have used the loan market to boost their resources up front with Ibrahim Meite and, more successfully, Karlan Ahearne-Grant.

But Smith pointed to injuries for Jordan Roberts and Thomas Verheydt as hindrances to their progress.

Kewell’s comments about aiming to emulate Bournemouth took a few people aback – but not Smith.

He said: “You have got to dream big.

“I look at some of my mates who I used to play in League One with.

“People like Charlie Daniels, the left-back at Bournemouth.

“He has made his way all the way up and now he is a Premier League player.

“If you don’t dream big it’s not worth playing.”

The trip to Port Vale gives Crawley an indication of how far they have come under Kewell’s guidance.

They played some good stuff at home to the Valiants on the opening day of the campaign.

But the rather basic visiting side looked more streetwise en route to a 3-1 win in which they played precious little football.

Reds are likely to send out at least seven of the team who started that game.

Kewell’s progress since starting his managerial career with four defeats has led to him being linked with the Charlton job.

Lee Bowyer’s impressive efforts in caretaker charge at the Valley might put that talk on the backburner for now.

Bowyer has been told he is in charge for the rest of the season.

But Kewell has laughed the links off and Smith thinks similarly.

The nine-goal midfielder said: “It’s rumours. You read things.

“People say an Australian is going to take over at Charlton and there is only one Australian manager so people put two and two together.

“But we just concentrate on our jobs.

“He’s here and that is all we are worried about.”