Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell says that he won’t accept tiredness as an excuse over a hectic Christmas fixture list because it is the same for everyone, but he admits that he may utilise his squad to add freshness if he believes it is necessary.
Crewe kick off their festive period with a testing home game against Swindon Town this weekend before facing Chesterfield on Boxing Day, a trip to Cambridge and then another home game against Grimsby Town on New Year’s Day.
Artell told crewealex.net: “It is a busy period and we want the players to be as fresh as possible. As a footballer you know your body better than anybody but you also have to remember that you rarely play at 100% fit. I think I did that on a handful of occasions during my own career. You are always carrying a knock here or there.
“It is something you have to get on with and cope. Of course, I won’t overuse players if I don’t have to and we don’t want to run the risk of injuries. For example, when Tommy Lowery picked up a hamstring injury recently, it was probably his body crying out for a rest because he is a young lad and not used to the demands of playing two games in a week.
“It is an intense period but tiredness is not excuse. It is a mental thing and it is the same for all footballers. They know what it is about over Christmas and they have to get on with it. They are used to it and there will no excuses from us.
“They have done it before and it’s a challenge. They have to relish that challenge and make sure they pick up some points.”