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League One

Barker plays down promotion talk

28 October 2012

Crawley manager Richie Barker played down any talk of his side challenging for a third successive promotion after they climbed to second in npower League One following a 1-1 home draw against Oldham.

A late goal from Kyle McFadzean gave the Reds a hard-earned point after Jose Baxter had driven Oldham ahead midway through the second half.

Crawley followed promotion from the Blue Square Bet Premier Division by going straight up in their debut season in the Football League, but Barker wants to "reserve judgement" on their promotion prospects this time around.

He said: "No one has achieved it in the last 125 years, but I'm going to reserve judgement for a good few months yet. I don't think one person associated with Crawley would have possibly thought that we would be sitting second in the table with one-third of the season gone.

"It speaks volumes of how hard the players have worked. Two years ago we had 200 season ticket-holders. Maybe it's not a bad thing that we're second because in terms of how I want to work, unfortunately, at times I expect perfection."

Barker felt his side "lacked quality" against Oldham and added: "We were lazy and sloppy at times. Our mentality got slow and sloppy and lacked quality."

Oldham manager Paul Dickov felt he got the perfect reaction from his players following their 3-1 defeat at Carlisle in midweek, a performance he described as "abject".

Dickov said: "All round it was a really good team performance. I wasn't happy with our display at Carlisle, but we battled back to take a really good point against an in-form Crawley side."

Dickov had no excuses for Jean-Yves M'Voto, who was dismissed by referee Gavin Ward for shoving McFadzean in the face before pushing over skipper Gary Alexander after the ball had gone out for an Oldham corner.

Dickov added: "It was not like Jean. It was a stupid thing to do. I have no complaints about it but, if anything, the sending-off gave us impetus."

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