Barker concerned Crawley could become a ‘nice team to play against’

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Reds boss Richie Barker was left with further concerns over his side’s defending after the two goals they conceded today in losing 2-1 to Rotherham.

The first - coming after Mat Sadler had put Crawley ahead from a free-kick - saw Kieran Agard score from a corner, the fourth goal conceded from a set piece in the first four matches.

The second Barker said was the result of ‘switching off’, as poor defensive headers from first James Hurst and then Mark Connolly teed the ball up for substitute David Worrall to lash home what proved the winner 13 minutes from time.

Afterwards Barker said: “I think the football’s excellent but we need to be careful we don’t become a nice team to watch and a nice team to play against. It’s mistakes, but you show me a player in League One who doesn’t make mistakes.

And on the winner he added: “It’s a pretty simple header (by James Hurst) to go and win and if you do the basic things well you’ve got more of a chance of winning football matches.”

It meant a winning first return for former Reds boss Steve Evans, now in charge of the Millers, and Barker commented on the contrasting styles of both sides, with the visitors peppering the Crawley defence with crosses for the whole 90 minutes.

“I thought we had to weather the storm right from the start and we knew that was going to be the case,” he said.

“I thought we managed to do that quite well. We knew we’d have to put our tin hats on from the start and we dealt with most of the stuff that was thrown at us.

“(It was) two contrasting styles, I thought we played some nice stuff at times but maybe just fizzled out a bit.

“It’s a percentage game and if somebody puts 50 crossed into your box in a game the chances are that one of those is going to go in at some point if you don’t defend them properly.

“At times we did OK but a poor header in the second half, somebody switching off and not picking up runners in the first half has cost us.”