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Phil Brown makes rallying cry after defeat at Crawley leaves Barrow in trouble

Phil Brown’s side are facing a relegation fight (Steven Paston/PA)
Phil Brown’s side are facing a relegation fight (Steven Paston/PA)

Phil Brown called on his Barrow side to be “more ruthless and horrible to play against” after a third successive defeat under him plunged them further into relegation trouble.

Kwesi Appiah’s second-half strike was enough to give mid-table Crawley a 1-0 win – their third successive home victory – and left Barrow out of the bottom two on goal difference.

Former Hull boss Brown admitted his men were lacking in confidence and belief but felt there was light at the end of the tunnel with six games remaining.

He said: “It was a poor game of football but Crawley raised the gallop for a 15-minute period after the first half and that period cost us.

“Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Absolutely.

“Talk is cheap. The most important thing is to cross the line and play the kind of football your fans are proud of.

“We need to be more ruthless and horrible to play against.

“We need players looking forward to games. I’m trying to improve the situation and I’m after that win.”

In part of tough run-in, Barrow entertain leaders Forest Green next having won only one of their last 12 games.

Crawley head coach John Yems went into the game assuring supporters that “hard work begins now” following news that the club had been taken over by a group of US cryptocurrency investors.

The Reds are heading for a third successive mid-table finish under Yems and he is desperate for them to make an impression in their final six matches.

He said: “If we go out and play like we did in the second half then we are a match for anybody.

“Credit to the lads for getting a result against a Barrow side battling for their lives.

“We nicked a 1-0 win but on the balance of play we deserved it.”

Yems has been badly hit by injuries this season and is aiming for a big improvement next term under the ownership of the investment group Wagmi United.

He added: “We’ve been in dialogue with the new owners for two months so the hard work begins now.

“It’s getting that balance. Next season hopefully we will have a fuller squad and not so many injuries.”