MARK Cooper thinks John Gregory has turned Crawley Town into a much more aggressive side since taking charge at the Broadfield Stadium three months ago.
The former Aston Villa boss succeeded Richie Barker at the Red Devils following the former manager’s dismissal at the end of November, and has picked up three victories from his 10 games in the hotseat.
He has recruited heavily since the turn of the year, too, drafting in seven new faces including Matt Tubbs, Paul Connolly and Gary Dicker, and Cooper feels the changes made by Gregory have improved Crawley.
“I know John, I’ve bumped into him a few times. He’s a nice guy and he did well as a Premier League manager. He got to a cup final and semi-finals, I’m looking forward to seeing him,” he said.
“I think they’re a little bit more on the front foot, they’re a little bit more ‘up and at them’ and try to play a little bit more in the opponents’ half of the pitch. They work their socks off and obviously John’s a new manager and he’s got them at it. We have to deal with that.
“They’ve brought in experienced 28, 29, 30-year-old’s that know what they’re doing so we have to deal with that. They know how to kill a game and how to quicken a game up but we’re not bad at home and if we get hold of the ball we’ve shown we can be a force to be reckoned with.”
Crawley endured a month without a fixture prior to a 2-1 win at Walsall on Saturday thanks to a series of postponements, but Cooper does not expect the Sussex side to be ring-rusty when they pitch up at the County Ground tonight.
“They’ll come to us and fancy their chances because we’ve been depleted lately, people will look at the disappointment of going out of the JPT and think we’re down and we’ll be sulking,” he said.
“Sometimes it can work both ways. If you’ve not played for a month you can be desperate to get on the ball and go and play. They’ve done that at Walsall and played very well. Hopefully they have a dip on Tuesday night.”