Rookie gaffer Harry Kewell could struggle with Crawley Town

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Harry Kewell and Crawley Town ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League Two season.

Background

Harry Kewell takes his first steps into management after two years in charge of Watford Under 23s. Although results are never the priority in development football, the Australian was sacked by the Hornets in April after winning just twice in six months. It was an horrendous sequence that culminated with heavy defeats to the likes of Colchester (0-4), Ipswich (0-8), Cardiff (1-7) and Bristol City (1-4). Former Newport boss Warren Feeney, who came through the ranks alongside Kewell at Leeds, joins as his assistant.

Personality

Predicting Kewell’s managerial style is mainly guesswork at this point but his early interviews suggest he’s an idealist with boundless enthusiasm and a highly romantic view of what the game should mean to his players. His emotions will probably get the better of him from time to time but adaptability is the buzzword he has been pushing repeatedly over the summer. He regards himself as persistent and adaptable, somebody who isn’t afraid to make mistakes and never stops trying until he gets what he wants.

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Verdict

Another journey into the unknown awaits Crawley fans but it’s fair to say Kewell starts from a fairly low base and the sale of 20-goal striker James Collins to Luton surely reduces their chances of beating last season’s final tally of 51 points. If Kewell starts well and gets the chemistry right straight away, they could survive comfortably but you’d still expect a bottom-half finish. If he struggles, it could get messy in a way that leaves the next man with too much work to do.

Prediction: relegated

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