'Our performance was better' - John Yems on how Crawley proved their attacking intent in FA Cup win over Leeds United

Crawley Town boss John Yems credited his players for buying into the gameplan that helped them beat Leeds United 3-0 in the FA Cup.

Sunday, 10th January 2021, 5:15 pm
CUP SHOCK - Leeds United were beaten 3-0 by John Yems' Crawley Town of League Two, in today's FA Cup third round clash. Pic: Simon Hulme

The League Two side held their Premier League visitors until half-time and drew confidence from the 0-0 scoreline, before coming out and taking the game by the scruff of the neck.

Two goals in eight minutes put them in cruise control and a third, on 70 minutes, was the icing on the cake.

As it turned out, one goal might have been enough as Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds toiled but failed to make any kind of attacking breakthrough in an insipid second half performance.

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Crawley were clinical in attack and organised in defence, delighting their manager.

“You have to enjoy these games – you work hard enough for it," he said.

"It was a really good team performance and it's clear that we've got 11 star men. These players have got a lot to prove to the clubs who have released them and we’ve showed what we can do against a really good side in Leeds.

"Let’s see who we get in the next round and enjoy the moment."

The key to victory was refusing to collapse into their own half and defend for their lives with 11 men. Crawley used the counter attack well and although they never over-committed to forays into the Leeds half, they always had an attacking presence and pace that troubled the visitors.

"It's easy to say it now, but I've been saying it all week, we were never going to sit off," said Yems.

"We were always going to have a go at them and I know we've got some good players, and we've worked hard all week, and on the day our performance was better than them and we deserved the 3-0.

"At half-time I just said keep doing what we're doing, and have a bit more belief in ourselves. We've seen all season that we've got goals in us. We had a game plan and we stuck to it and the lads really worked their socks on and got their rewards."

He was keen to share the credit with everyone involved in the victory, especially the players who carried out their instructions to perfection.

"All of us, all the backroom staff, worked on it, but it is all about the players," he said.

"They've bought into it and we've put our ideas down and they've executed those, and if you keep on doing that you get results."