Crawley Town boss John Yems has expressed his sympathy to Carlisle United’s fans for the way their promotion push was derailed last season.

The manager of tomorrow’s opponents says the Blues were one of the best sides his team faced in 2020/21.

And he expects Chris Beech to have United in good shape for this weekend’s clash in Sussex.

“It will be a tough game, and Chris will have them fired up,” said Yems.

“I think he’s done a great job up there, Chris.

“They fell foul of Covid and the fixture pile-ups last season. They were flying. I felt sorry for their fans.

“They deserved [better]. They were one of the better sides we played.

“We’re expecting a tough game. I hope they don’t turn up too clever on Saturday.

“It’s a good club up there, they’re good people, they work hard on their games.

“It’s a shame. I wanted them to go up, it would save us driving all the way up there…!”

Yems could hand a debut to new defensive signing Joel Lynch, the former QPR and Sunderland man, in tomorrow’s fixture.

Crawley have not lost at the People’s Pension Stadium yet this season, though they have never enjoyed a home win over the Cumbrians in the Football League.

“When we first came in we had a great run, and carried it on a bit last year,” Yems said at his press conference.

“What you get away from home is your bonus, so to speak. It’s nice to come home, everybody appreciates what the fans do.

“It makes a massive difference to have the fans here. We’ve just got to make the place as intimidating for the opposition as much as we can.”