Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell says there was plenty to take from the club’s two pre-season friendlies at AFC Barrow and Alsager Town earlier this week. Crewe were held to a draw in both games but Artell says the physical games presented the challenge he wanted for his players.
The Railwaymen take on Bury at Gigg Lane tomorrow afternoon in what will be another valuable test before the start of the season.
Artell told the club’s official web-site: “At Barrow, I thought we defended well and they didn’t really threaten us and look like scoring. I think they had one flash past the post towards the end of the game.
“They went 16, 17 games unbeaten at home last season and I know pre-season is not about results, but I knew it would be a tough game. They had some very big lads and were physical and that is what I wanted.
“I thought we coped well and looked reasonably solid. On the other side of the coin, we were a bit leggy and lethargic. We lacked a bit of creativity and the most disappointing thing from my point of view is that we mirrored how they played in the second half. We began to play like them and that isn’t us.
“That is the challenge. We have to play more like us and have that courage to get on the ball and keep on passing it. We had the ability to out pass them but we didn’t do it enough.
He added: “Alsager was also a good test for the younger ones. They got about us and kicked us up in the air a few times. That is part and parcel of football and they would have gained from the experience. I thought they were two good games and what both teams needed.”