Crawley performance pleases Kewell in Pompey defeat

Crawley full-back Cedric Evina wins possession in this afternoon's friendly with Portsmouth. Picture by Neil Marshall
Crawley full-back Cedric Evina wins possession in this afternoon's friendly with Portsmouth. Picture by Neil Marshall

Crawley Town head coach Harry Kewell was full of praise for his team - despite seeing them finish pre-season with a 2-1 home defeat to League 1 Portsmouth this afternoon.

Reds' Dutch striker Thomas Verheydt notched his first goal for the club as they went into the break 1-0 ahead.

However, Crawley's pre-season would end with a loss as Brett Pitman struck twice to sink Kewell's side.

Despite the defeat, Reds' head coach Kewell saw plenty of positive signs heading into Saturday's League 2 curtain-raiser with Port Vale at the Checkatrade Stadium and said: "I felt up until they got level we produced a really good performance. Everyone must make sure that are playing well because I've got quality players ready to go into the team.

"At the moment things could change, you have got to play at the highest level, if not, others are waiting to come in and stake a claim."

The Pompey friendly defeat brings to a close Kewell's first-ever pres-season in senior football management.

Former Australia international Kewell has been satisfied with progress made so far but still feel there is room for improvement.

Kewell added: "I've been pleased with the progress but it does take time to bring new things into and club and it takes time to adapt.

"Everyone has been willing to accept the changes that have been implemented, which is fantastic and we'll just keep going."