Boss says playing at the Ricoh Arena may get the best out of his players
Steve Davis is hoping that a chance to play away from home will give his players a chance to express themselves better. Crewe Alexandra travel to the Ricoh Arena this evening with a partisan crowd of over 30,000, naturally making Mark Robins’ Sky Blues favourites to progress to Wembley over the two-legs.
Davis and his assistant Neil Baker were impressed with Coventry’s performance at Sheffield United on Friday night and although he agrees it will be a tough ask, he hopes that playing away from Gresty Road may actually help his team’s performance.
Certainly, Crewe have produced some of their best football away from home and have already defeated the likes of Doncaster Rovers, Preston, Oldham on the road and were unlucky to draw 3-3 at Bramall Lane back in November.
Ahead of this evening’s match, Steve told us: “The form guides are quite similar and we know it will be a harder game to the one we had against Coventry earlier in the season. They didn’t have a permanent manager at the time and were struggling to adjust to the division but Mark (Robins) has come in there and done a fantastic job.
“They are a good side with good players. We went to watch them again on Friday and they played well, especially in the first half. Sheffield United improved in the second half and it looked like being a draw until (Leon) Clarke popped up again at the end. He scored two poach like goals and was the difference on the night. He is certainly one to watch and the centre-halves will have to play well to contain him, but he isn’t the only one.
“Our players are not daft and they are educated about the opposition. They know who they have and their strengths and weaknesses.
“It will be a good crowd and the players are relishing the opportunity to play football there. In fact, I would say that our away performances have actually been better away. We have arguably produced our best performances away from home. It may suit us.
“Our home results have been very good but our actual performances have been better on the road. We just want to keep it tight and make sure the home leg is one to remember.”