We have the views of Stephen Hollis, the sports writer for the Argus ahead of Port Vale’s game against Crawley Town…
About the fan
“I’m not a fan but have watched 95% of Crawley’s games over the last three seasons as a reporter for The Argus newspaper.”
How do you expect your team to do this season?
If Crawley finish fifth from bottom I think it would be a successful season considering the cutbacks at the club over the last six months or so. I think they should achieve that – just – if they bring in some players to give them more cutting edge in January. I’ll go for 19th.
Who should we watch out for?
Izale McLeod is Crawley’s top scorer with nine goals which is a good return considering the level of service he has received. Gwion Edwards poses a real threat either on the wing of in an advanced midfield role. He can run at the defenders and possesses a good shot from long-range.
What are your thoughts on your manager?
There have been quite a few duds which I suppose is only to be expected when you sign seventeen players in the summer and are shopping in the bargain basement.
What are your thoughts on your board?
The club’s anonymous owner has reined in his spending over the last 18 months after funding Crawley’s rise from non-league ranks. He put Reds up for sale in March 2013 but no buyer has been found yet. He is still putting money in to help balance the books as crowds are falling.
Which one Vale player, past or present, would you take?
Crawley could do with someone like Billy Paynter.
How do you expect Vale to do this season?
I haven’t seen them play so difficult to judge but I’d guess in the bottom half without really getting sucked into trouble.
Most memorable game against Vale?
The 2-2 draw at Vale Park in August 2011 as it was Crawley’s first ever game in the Football League.
A score prediction?
A 1-1 draw. McLeod for Crawley, Williamson for Vale.