Saunders has been promised the funds to keep Crawley in League One

Dean Saunders the new Crawley Town manager watches his side against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-141228-191450004
Dean Saunders the new Crawley Town manager watches his side against Colchester (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-141228-191450004

New interim manager Dean Saunders has been promised the funds to mastermind Crawley Town’s League One survival.

The 50-year-old former Wales international showed a great sign of intent with a point against Colchester in his first game in charge on Sunday.

A makeshift Reds played out a goal less draw at home to lift themselves out of the bottom four.

Saunders has taken the reins on an interim basis as John Gregory undergoes and recovers from open-heart surgery next month.

The ex-Liverpool, Swansea and Aston Villa striker has been tasked with one goal, to keep Crawley up.

After successful spells as a manager at Wrexham and Doncaster, he believes he can do that and has been told by the board that resources are available to him.

Saunders said: “I said if you give me the tools to make a difference, I will (take the job) and they have assured me that I can do something that will make us better. The main object is that we don’t get relegated.

“There are things wrong that I can see. John Gregory is a good coach and I have worked under him. There are things out there that he’s got them doing that I would have them doing, but it’s a different voice and I am a different person.

“I said I have come here to win. I have not come here to be a punch bag in a relegation battle, I have come here and I expect to win. I am expecting us to win every game and I have said that to them.

“We are good enough to, with a few additions, win every game or be in every game. Last night, I thought we needed a few additions and after speaking to Paul Groves, I thought we needed a whole new team, no-one told me about that, but we need a bit of surgery.

“I just need to identify what we need and do it and the board have assured me I can do that.

“I had to get assurance from the board that they would give me the tools as I wasn’t coming here as John Gregory is a good coach and they have won just five games out of 21.

“I have been giving assurances that I can get players in. As I said, the club has not been on the slide for years, this is a great period in the history of the club and right now it has just hit a bad patch of form.

“With a couple of new additions and my enthusiasm pumped into them we will win some games.”

The timing of Saunders’ appointment means he now has two weeks on the training field with his new players before their next game.

With their match on January 3 at Chesterfield postponed owing to the Spireites having to replay their FA Cup tie at MK Dons, Reds are next in action at home to the Dons on January 10.

Saunders added: “I have two weeks now to get some players into the building because we are obviously short, I didn’t realise.

“I have been told my job is just to keep the club in the league. I am not David Copperfield and won’t turn us into promotion contenders all of a sudden. Hopefully, in time we can do that, I have just come in to help.”

On new players Saunders is adamant he will not buy for the sake of it and intends to make moves that will boost the side.

He added: “They have got to be better than what we have got. There is no use me in bringing players in that are the same of what we have got to bring in players better than what we have got and they will help the ones that are playing.”