Crawley 'had to move players on' - Lindsey

Scott Lindsey
Listen to live commentary of the League Two play-off semi-final first leg between Crawley Town and Milton Keynes Dons on BBC Local Radio and follow live updates on the BBC Sport website and app [Rex Features]

Crawley Town manager Scott Lindsey says he needed to move on certain "loose professional" players to change the Reds from relegation candidates to League Two promotion challengers.

The 51-year-old has guided Crawley to the play-offs for a chance to reach the third tier of English football for the first time in their history.

The former Swindon boss took over at Broadfield Stadium in January 2023 with the club 21st in League Two.

He steered them to a 22nd-place finish and has guided the Reds to the League Two play-offs this season, where they host MK Dons in the semi-final first leg on Monday.

The 51-year-old said he knew changes were needed to achieve the club's goals after it took four weeks for everyone to report to work on time after he took the role.

“There were a lot of things at this club that were not right, not professional enough, certainly in the playing squad," he told BBC Radio Surrey.

"It took me 28 days before everybody turned up on time. There was a lot of loose professionals.

"As a manager I had to put that straight, get players in line and some of those players had to go and we had to bring in - in my opinion - better people, better staff, better players in terms of their attitude and professionalism and we’ve raised the standards of how I want people to work."

'We were favourites to go down'

Crawley face an MK Dons side they defeated 2-1 at Broadfield Road in August, before losing 2-0 away at Stadium MK in December.

The Sussex outfit ended the season with three unbeaten games to seal the final play-off place.

But Lindsey believes form goes out of the window when it comes to this stage.

"At the start of the season we were favourites to go down," he added.

"We always feel like underdogs. I don't think it [momentum] matters going into the play-offs.

"Once you're in the play-offs, those games are in isolation."