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League One

John Gregory targets Crawley Town Play-Off challenge

3 May 2014

Crawley Town boss John Gregory has set himself a target of challenging for the Play-Offs next season after signing a two-year contract extension.

Gregory, who took over from Richie Barker last December, pledged his future to the Red Devils as they closed their season in 14th place with a 1-1 home draw against Bristol City.

The former Aston Villa chief admits "a huge challenge" is ahead of him but is relishing the task of improving the Red Devils' fortunes - even though he will be working with a reduced budget.

He said: "Signing a new deal is not a decision I've taken lightly and I am pleased with that. It will help me refocus on the job in hand.

"I had no hesitation in wanting to stay, providing I could do the job in the manner that I want to do it. That was the most important thing.

"So it's full steam ahead; it'll be a hard summer. It wasn't really a difficult decision and I look forward to having a lot of success over the next two years.

"Lots of decisions will not be made until July or August. We've got to threaten the play-offs. We want to make a dent in that top six.

"It is a huge challenge for me and it will take a lot of work."

Striker Jamie Proctor put Crawley on course for their first win in four games with a 25th-minute volley, but midfielder Simon Gillett, on loan from Nottingham Forest, extended City's unbeaten run to six games with a 62nd-minute equaliser.

Gregory added: "The draw summed up our season very well. We finish 14th and many parts of our game are very good, but again we didn't take our chances."

Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill is anxious to build on the stability created this season after the Robins clinched a 12th-placed finish.

Cotterill described City's rise from bottom to mid-table as "remarkable" and is looking forward to adding to his squad in order to kick on next term.

Cotterill said: "To finish in the top half of the table is a wonderful achievement. It was a great effort from everyone connected with the club.

"The boys never gave up and it's great testament to their spirit. We have already started something and now I have to try to bring other players into the squad."

Cotterill admitted he was eyeing a 10th-placed finish but stressed: "Going from 24th to 12th is remarkable really. All credit to the boys and I thanked them for their effort.

"Now I have a difficult couple of days as I have to re-jig the squad. I've no idea about the budget whatsoever, but there's now a few awkward conversations that I have to make."

Cotterill believes City striker Sam Baldock, leading scorer in the division with 26 goals, is a fully deserving winner of the Sky Bet League One Golden Boot award.

He said: "It's a fantastic achievement and great credit and testament goes to him.

"He looks happy and at home with us and it is our intention to keep him.

"He thoroughly deserves the award as he is top scorer in the division and I am delighted for him."

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