David Artell was hugely disappointed that Crewe Alexandra exited the FA Cup after today’s hard fought replay against Blackburn Rovers, but he was heartened by the overall performance. The Alex manager was pleased with his side’s performance agaisnt the League One side, despite Danny Graham’s first half strike knocking us of the competition.
Crewe certainly tried to play more football than we did at Cheltenham at the weekend and Artell was quick to point to some positives to take forward into Saturday’s League Two clash with Crawley Town.
Following the 1-0 defeat, Artell told us: “We passed the ball to each other a lot better tonight. That is what I asked them to do and they tried to do that against a very good Blackburn side. I thought for the first 20 minutes we were excellent then we made one mistake and they punished us.
“They had most of the ball because they have a lot of quality but we hung in there at times and had chances of our own. On another day Dagnall’s header goes in or Jordan’s curling shot goes the other side of the post and we have extra-time to look forward to and anything can happen then.
“We stood up to them well and defend magnificently and we got our chances in the second half because we defended properly.
“They are the best team we have played this season by a country mile. They will go up. Good luck to them, they are a very good side. To a man we were good.
“If we play like that every week in our league we will be fine because we tried to play our football. I wanted the back players to get if off Ben and the midfielders to get on the ball and we did that. On another day with the chances we created we could have scored.
He added: “We worked on it and I was pleased with the way we passed the ball. There is room for improvement, of course there is but overall I thought we played well .We spent most of the time in our half but when we did get into their final third, we created some chances and that was a real positive going forward. We have got to do that more and when we get those chances we have got to be more clinical like they were.”