McNerney relishing challenge against promotion-chasers

Joe McNerney celebrates a goal earlier this season.
Joe McNerney celebrates a goal earlier this season.
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Crawley defender Joe McNerney looked ahead to a tricky week of fixtures and said: “It’s a test we are relishing.”

Saturday’s home encounter with League 2 leaders Doncaster Rovers kicks-off a testing two-game run.

After Rovers visit the Checkatrade Stadium, fourth-placed promotion hopefuls Portsmouth come to town just three days later.

Having won just two games against teams in the current top-six this season, McNerney knows the size of the task ahead but believes it’s a challenge the squad are relishing.

He said: “I think these games give us a chance to play with a little bit more freedom.

“We’ve had a really tricky run, after facing Exeter City on Tuesday, then the next two games we’ve got to come at home.

“No game is easy in this division but these next two are against arguably the biggest teams in League 2.

“The size of the task we face is massive, but it allows us an opportunity to test and challenge ourselves against the best in this league.”

Tuesday’s 2-1 home defeat at the hands of sixth-placed Exeter was a third successive loss at the Checkatrade Stadium.

Prior to the poor recent run, Reds had won four on the bounce at home, with McNerney hoping for a winning return at home sooner, rather than later.

He added: “We’ve not been great at home recently. We were on a really good run late last year and in January and that’s something we want to get back to.

“Obviously these next two games at home aren’t going to be easy, but we’d like to turn it around and start taking some points in our home matches.”

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