Striker Richie Bennett notched his seventh goal of the season on Saturday afternoon with a stunning left-foot volley which has put him right in the mix for the end-of-year Goal of the Season award.
Speaking about the strike after the game, manager Keith Curle said: “It was a very good goal. He deserved it because he was causing them problems and it was a great strike from him.
“I thought he was excellent in the first half and he did a lot of work to keep Crawley busy. That comes from the hard work he’s been doing out on the training pitch. He’s been working with me, Colin West and Lee Dykes on different aspects of his game and it’s paying off for him.”
“We still feel there’s more to come from him,” he added. “He’s had a slow start to his campaign this season but he’s finding his feet now. He’s working hard at his game and he’s learning all the time.
“If we can get the instinctive penalty box finishes as part of his game going forward we’ll have a very good player on our hands.”
On the substitution which saw him leave the field with 20 minutes still to play, he said: “He put a good shift in, but I thought we needed to freshen it up after 15 or 20 minutes of the second half.
“We’d started to see a lull in his performance because he’d worked really hard to give them plenty to think about. As I say, he’s come on leaps and bounds and it’s nice to see people are now disappointed when he’s coming off the pitch.”
Looking ahead to the weekend, with wingers Reggie Lambe [Bermuda] and Kris Twardek [Canada] missing through international duty, he told us: “I’m pleased for them both. The opportunity to represent your country is something every player wants to experience.
“They’re involved in midweek and weekend friendly fixtures, so we won’t see them again until next week. Obviously when you add that to the likes of Nicky Adams, Kelvin Etuhu, Jason Kennedy, Tom Miller and Jamal Campbell-Ryce it means we’re missing a few, but the pleasing thing is that we have good qualities within the squad which mean we can deal with that.”
With Cambridge United next up at Brunton Park on Saturday, he said: “Obviously we’ve been through the process of looking at situations where we can improve, individually and collectively, and the focus has now immediately switched to Cambridge and the preparation for that game.
“We’re on a six-game unbeaten run and we’re determined to keep that going. There is frustration at the fact we didn’t turn our lead into a win on Saturday, but we have to deal with that and make sure we use it to push us on.
“The lads will be upbeat from the moment they get back into training because they know they’ve been doing things right, and that’s why they’ve been getting the positive results. We’ll stick to that and we know that we can beat anyone if we continue to do the simple things well.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Keith Curle on iFollow United now.