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League One

It will only get tougher - Barker

28 April 2013

Crawley boss Richie Barker has warned it will be harder for his young team to repeat their top-10 finish next season after closing their campaign with a 2-2 home draw with Hartlepool.

The Red Devils marked their first-ever season in npower League One with a top-half placing, an achievement Barker felt was "beyond what anyone would have expected".

But going forward with a smaller budget, Barker has made it plain it will be tough after setting such high standards.

He said: "To finish in the top 10, having been in non-league two years ago, is an amazing achievement.

"I'm sure we would have taken 10th at the start of the season.

"A 10th-place finish was beyond what anyone expected. We're in the bottom few in terms of budget, but we've finished 10th. We've set ourselves high standards this year and just maintaining 10th will be hard. It'll be harder next year with a smaller budget.''

Crawley closed their season with a point as all the goals came in the final 20 minutes at the Broadfield Stadium.

Striker Jamie Proctor scored twice for Crawley with both Hartlepool goals coming from Andy Monkhouse and Barker reckons former Preston man Proctor has quickly made his presence felt at Crawley.

Hartlepool manager John Hughes warned of a lot of hard work was to come after his side's six-year stay in League One ended with them finishing second from bottom.

He said: "I know what we're up against and I know there will be a lot of hard work done in the close season."

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