Mark Yates has praised the character of midfielder Jimmy Smith who played on for nearly half the game with a broken foot during Crawley’s 3-0 defeat at Portsmouth.
The Crawley Town boss has also highlighted his player’s great attitude and energy since he arrived at the Checkatrade.com Stadium as the new boss.
Smith, who is celebrating his 29th birthday today, has been ruled out for the next eight to ten weeks through the injury suffered at Fratton Park.
Yates said: “He’s been terrific for me since the day I walked in the door. He has a great attitude and gives us real energy and real drive.
“He even contributed with a really good goal at Barnet and I think one criticism of Jimmy is that he could have got a couple more goals but he’s been absolutely brilliant since I’ve been here.
“It’s a big blow but that’s what football is about - someone gets an injury and someone comes in and has to try to take their opportunity, and that’s what we are looking for at the minute.
“He played with a broken bone in his foot for 35 minutes which shows the type of character he is.
“I knew he was in pain but I didn’t realise how much pain he was in. He went down and I think the Portsmouth fans thought he was time-wasting and I knew he wasn’t, I knew he wasn’t, I could see he’d taken a knock.
“It shows the great character that he’s got and he tries to give his absolute all for this club.”
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