Crawley Town interim manager Dean Saunders has agreed a deal to bring experienced centre back Darren Ward on loan from Swindon Town for the rest of the season.
The 36-year-old has been out of favour at Swindon all season but is expected to go straight into the Reds team for Saturday’s home game against MK Dons.
Saunders was keen to bring in someone quickly after an injury crisis forced him to field three players out of position in his back-four during his first game in charge. a 0-0 draw against Colchester.
Saunders said: “We only went into the game last week with one defender so I felt I had to do something really quickly before the next game and I’ve done that.
“Darren is a really experienced player and will be like a coach on the pitch which I felt we needed as we are a young outfit.
“Young players sometimes don’t know what to say and don’t know decisions to make and experienced players know that.
“Having a voice at the back is vital for any team that wants to keep the ball out of the net.
“Darren played in the Premier League and in a Cup Final for Millwall (in 2004) so at his age he has learnt everything and seen everything.
“I’m not concerned he hasn’t played this season as he is a fitness fanatic and you are only as old as you feel.
“Age is a number when you are a footballer. Some players go when they are 30, some players can still play when they are 40.
“Obviously there will be things they can’t do. He’s a fitness fanatic. He wants to win. He wants to play 700 games and I’m sure he’ll be a good aquisition for us.”
Ward has been at Swindon for two seasons but has not played at all under new manager Mark Cooper.
He previously played for Millwall, QPR, Crystal Palace and Watford.