Dean Saunders praises ‘hero’ Matt Harrold

Dean Saunders the new Crawley Town manager watches his side against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-141228-191450004

Dean Saunders the new Crawley Town manager watches his side against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-141228-191450004

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Dean Saunders hailed Matt Harrold a ‘hero’ and praised his whole side ‘magnificent’ for battling to an unlikely draw despite being without a recognised goalkeeper for more than half the game.

He said: “It feels like we’ve lost two points but before the game and when Brian Jensen went off I would have taken the draw.

“We could have got beaten 5-1 there. The fourth official puts up five minutes extra time and they play 96 minutes 20 seconds - I was starring at the referee for a minute and he didn’t blow the whistle.

“I don’t want to get myself into trouble with the referee but I don’t know where that extra-time came from.

“Conor Henderson’s got carried off with an injured ankle and Brian Jensen’s got injured with a dislocated thumb and I thought they were both late tackles.”

“We got on top of them and scored after 13 minutes then Brian Jensen had to come off and Matt Harrold had to go in.

“He was brilliant and turned out to be a hero. As the game went on he got better and better.

“All the players have been done well today, I can’t pick any of them out. They have battled and done everything I asked so the more I talk to you the more I feel it was a point gained.”

“Matt Harrold had never been in goal before and had one save which is a credit to the people in front of him.

“The determination they showed with blocks and challenges and the attitude was brilliant.”

Saunders also praised the fans for creating a great atmosphere and their enthusiasm.

“The crowd saw we were up against it and really got behind us. They contested every decision and helped us get a result. They were brilliant and we are going to need them.”