Crawley boss calls for improvement
RICHIE Barker has told his Crawley Town side that a "massive improvement" is required if they are to topple Swansea City in the Capital One Cup tonight.
The lower-league Red Devils have won only once in their last four games and were thumped 5-2 on their own patch by Tranmere Rovers last weekend.
It has been a bright start to the season nevertheless, with Crawley nicely placed in eighth in what is their first ever League One campaign.
The Broadfield Stadium club are getting used to life in a new division for the second season in a row after back-to-back promotions.
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Crawley have also built a reputation for cup giant-killings in recent times — but Barker says there is no chance of an upset this evening if they play like they did at the weekend.
"It's not going to be easy to get over Tranmere," admitted Barker, a former lower-league frontman with the likes of Rotherham, Mansfield and Hartlepool.
"But the Swansea game is an opportunity to put things right and the fact that it comes so soon is a good thing I think.
"We can bounce back, but we know it will take a massive improvement if we are to get anything out of Swansea."
Crawley have had considerable recent success in the cups, having beaten Derby, Hull, Bristol City, Millwall and Bolton.
They lost 2-0 at home to Stoke in the fifth round of the FA Cup last season, while at the same stage in the previous campaign they pushed Manchester United all the way at Old Trafford, eventually losing 1-0.
"We're looking forward to playing a Premier League club," said Town midfielder Josh Simpson.
"But as much as everyone is looking forward to the occasion, we have to concentrate on changing our performance.
"Swansea are going to keep the ball for long periods so we will have to be patient, but we have got he quality to win the game."
Crawley could include left-back Joe Walsh tonight.
The 20-year-old Welshman signed on a free in the summer after being released by Swansea.