Baker admits that if Tootle signs there will be a real contest on for the right back positition
Neil Baker has told the club’s official web-site that if Matt Tootle agrees to re-sign for Crewe Alexandra this summer then he will only thrive amongst the competition offered by fellow Academy graduates Ollie Turton and James Baillie.
Tootle is considering the club’s offer of a new contract this summer and Baker is hopeful that the 24-year-old will agree to remain at Gresty Road and regain the form that saw him win the 2014 Player of the Year award.
Sadly, last season was a frustrating one for the club captain with an ankle injury sustained in October limiting him to just 18 first team appearances. He did return from injury to make an appearance on the bench away at Peterborough United in April.
In his absence, Baillie and Turton grabbed their opportunities with both hands with Baillie playing 14 games in his debut season as a professional and the consistent Turton appearing in 48 matches over the season.
Baker, the club’s assistant manager, told crewealex.net: “No one at this level would turn down a fit and in form Matt Tootle. I think he is one of the best full-backs in the division and we want him to stay here.
“If he does then he will face competition for his place like any other player. James Baillie came in and did well when he first went into the team. He is heading in the right direction and we just took him out when he found it a bit tough.
“Ollie did more than just fill in at right-back. I thought he was excellent, especially in the second half of the season when I thought he was one of our most consistent performers. He played a lot of games and is growing with the confidence he is getting.”