Crawley Town head coach takes 'a lot of positives' from opening day defeat

Crawley Town head coach Gabriele Cioffi. Picture courtesy of Getty Images
Crawley Town head coach Gabriele Cioffi. Picture courtesy of Getty Images

Head coach Gabriele Cioffi stressed there were 'a lot of positives' to take from Crawley Town's 2-1 defeat at Carlisle United on the opening day of the 2019/20 League Two campaign.

Harry McKirdy put the Blues ahead on six minutes before summer signing Beryly Lubala equalised for the Reds on 16 minutes. Stefan Scougall then netted what proved to be the winner on 32 minutes.

Crawley defender Lewis Young was then shown a straight red card deep into second-half stoppage time after he showed violent conduct towards Carlisle substitute Jack Iredale.

Speaking to crawleytownfc.com Cioffi said: "There are a lot of positives. I think the boys put in a good performance.

"Our DNA was there in the way we played and competed, and at the end of the day it’s a matter of centimetres between us getting a good result or not and that is something we cannot control.

"But yes we have to be ruthless. We had a chance in the opening minutes which (Panutche Camara) has to take and there were others."

Carlisle goalkeeper Adam Collins was on top form, and produced a stunning double save in the second-half to deny Camara and then keep out the rebound to preserve the Blues' lead.

Cioffi praised the display of the home keeper but believed his side put in a performance worthy of taking a point.

He added: "Their goalkeeper was man of the match and made two or three brilliant saves. I felt we were on top for large parts of the first-half and most of the second-half.

"I thought everyone performed. It was a performance of heart and football ideas from the team."

Cioffi also revealed why he substituted veteran midfielder Dannie Bulman on his 400th appearance for Crawley Town at half-time.

He said: "We changed the team setting at half-time to try and be brave and win the game and I thought we controlled the second-half.

"Dannie was playing well but I thought we had to get more on the front foot."

The Reds take on recently-promoted Salford City in the first league game of 2019/20 at The People's Pension Stadium on Saturday.