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Playing Over Allocated Time Affected Players

15 December 2015

Boss says delay in the referee's whistle put his players on edge at Doncaster.

Steve Davis has told the club’s official web-site that his side were affected by the extra minutes that referee Darren Drysdale played at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday. The Alex boss was annoyed that the official played over six minutes of stoppage time when the fourth official had indicated a minimum of three minutes.

Crewe conceded two goals in stoppage time to completely flip the result on its head after Callum Saunders had given us a 90th minute winner with his first senior goal.

Steve told “When watching it back you could see it unfolding. Obviously, we knew the eventual outcome but the players still stuck to the game plan we had played throughout. We needed to change that a bit and that is something we will learn from. Our back players got moved around a bit too much in the final minutes and we needed to tweak things slightly.

“I said afterwards that I thought the players had switched off - but I think it was more that they stuck to the game plan that we had worked on when I should have tinkered with it.

“I thought the free-kick was harsh on Semi. It was a soft one and the lad has hit a free-kick from 30 yards into the top of the net. Even one of their coaches said to us afterwards that 9 times out of 10 that goes over the bar and we have a goal kick that we launch up field to try and keep possession in their half of the pitch. It would have taken the pressure off.

“It was a quality free-kick and that little bit of individual quality has cost us, as it did with the third goal. It was a great piece of skill from Williams to get the turn in for him to finish. Whilst we have to craft well worked goals, the opposition seem to be relying on an individual skill. It is not as though we are being exposed or they are getting in behind us.  It is either the quality or our mistakes that are costing us.

He added: “I think after the free-kick went in, the players thought that would be it because they knew it was three minutes, so when it goes another minute, two and then three over that time they sense it. They can become a bit nervous because they are waiting for the whistle. It can affect players that way and instead of thinking about defending and being solid they are asking the referee why he hasn’t blown his whistle.

“They are small things that can all affect concentration and we have to use it going forward.”

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