Cioffi optimistic ahead of new season despite Town's 2-1 defeat to Portsmouth

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Crawley Town boss Gabriele Cioffi believes his side are ready for the upcoming campaign, following a competitive contest with League One Portsmouth.

Talking to the club's website the boss said: "It was a good day, a positive day with a lot of information. I think now we have a clear picture so we don’t need to experiment anymore."

The hosts fell behind in the first half following a Gareth Evans header. In fact Crawley did not look much of a danger at all in the first 45 minutes, and deserved to be behind at the break. When asked about his side's slow start, Cioffi said: "There is a lot of reasons, like they are a challenging opposition who nearly got promoted to the championship last season so there is pressure. I don’t think it was an attitude of playing at home."

Despite a stronger start to the second half, Town were 2-0 down quite quickly. Portsmouth midfielder Tom Naylor struck the ball first time after having it cut back to him by fullback Lee Brown.

Crawley striker Ollie Palmer was denied two headers in quick succession. One being off target, and one forcing an exceptional save from Portsmouth keeper MacGillivray.

The hosts did however get a goal back after Norwich loanee Mason Bloomfield went on an impressive run from the left and blasted a long range effort into the top corner. Talking to the Crawley Observer Cioffi praised the 22 year old: "He will be an important player and to score is great for a striker. And it was an amazing goal."

Despite the eventual loss, the manager who is gearing up for his second season in charge remains positive for the 19/20 campaign. They start their season next Saturday with the long trip to Carlisle. Cioffi said to the website: "We have been ready since the 23rd of June. We look forward to the game. We’ll be ready."

Talking to the Observer he said: "We are confident for the whole season. Carlisle is just one brick of the season."