Paul Tisdale felt the effects of his team’s battling win over Crawley (Simon Marper/PA)
18 January 2022

‘Knackered’ Paul Tisdale delighted with win over Crawley

18 January 2022

Stevenage manager Paul Tisdale admitted to feeling “knackered” following the tense 2-1 victory over Crawley that lifted them further clear of the League Two relegation zone.

Substitute Luke Norris scored the winner for Boro, who are now eight points ahead of second-from-bottom Scunthorpe after picking up seven points from the last nine available.

They have also scored eight goals in those three games, having failed to register in their previous four, and they were the better side against a flat Crawley team who had been unbeaten in five matches.

Tisdale said: “I just feel knackered. If I feel shattered, God knows what the players feel like.

“It was a bit of a guessing game tonight – I wanted to refresh and give one or two players a bit of a rest and we didn’t quite know how the game would pan out because Crawley are a difficult team to read, but I’m delighted we’ve won.

“Some of the changes were forced – Jake Reeves was struggling, Chris Lines as well and although you want to win every game, you want to be smart as well.

“You can’t afford to flog the players and I’m glad it’s worked out OK, otherwise you’d kick yourself afterwards, but we made changes to just try and keep it fresh.

“We were flat at times today but we responded really well and I think after the efforts over these three games, I think we’re justified to expect seven points and I’m delighted.”

Stevenage went ahead when Jake Taylor headed in Zain Westbrooke’s cross, but their lead was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by Tom Nichols’ wonderful curling effort.

The game’s decisive moment came in the 73rd minute when Crawley keeper Glenn Morris touched Taylor’s low ball into the path of Norris, who finished from close range.

Crawley boss John Yems said: “I think we weren’t good enough over the 90 minutes against a very, very, very average side and we should have done better. They outworked us.

“We should have put our chances away, but what did we have to improve? We had to be better with the ball.

“All the things, you have to improve every game, so it wasn’t like a big magic sponge came out and it was ‘let’s all do this better’.

“We all had to work harder, we all had to be better on the ball.

“Giving silly goals away, that’s what’s costing us: stupid goals.

“I’ve been saying it all season, but the difference is when they can bring on players – they’re paying a lot more money than we are here.

“We stuck with the ones that won us five games, but that ain’t acceptable tonight.”

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