Title favourites Mansfield Town arrive in South Cheshire on Saturday and Crewe boss David Artell believes it will be the ideal test to start the new season.
Artell will be in the dug-out for the first time on an opening day of the season after succeeding Steve Davis back in January. As a player, Artell always believed that too much emphasis was placed on the opening day of the season because of the long build-up and expectation.
Crewe won 2-1 at Stevenage last season and Artell would love a similar start against the Stags on Saturday to really kick start the campaign.
Artell told the club’s official web-site: “There's a lot of emphasis always placed on the first game because the build-up is far longer than for any other game.
“It's important because it's three points, but it's not the be all and end all. We'll prepare the best way we can and hopefully we'll get the points.
“You won't win the league in the first game, and likewise you won't lose it. You might find out if you've got a chance after six-10 games, so we have to make sure after six-10 games we are somewhere near where we need to be and not given ourselves a mountain to climb.
“It is a good barometer. Steve Evans is a good manager; he knows what it takes to get a team promoted.
“It won't be anything other than a difficult match and that's what we are preparing for.
He added: “They will fancy their chances and we have to make sure we are focused and embrace the challenge.”