Following the narrow 1-0 defeat at the Ricoh Arena this afternoon, the Crewe Alexandra boss was left to rue a missed opportunity to halt a run of successive matches. Crewe were very much in the contest against an in-form Coventry City side but couldn’t conjure up too many clear-cut chances to really test Lee Burge in the Sky Blues goal.
Chris Porter went close early on with a shot on the turn and Brad Walker’s well struck free-kick clipped the crossbar in the second period as we looked to find that equaliser.
Debutant goalkeeper David Richards made a string of good saves to keep us in the game.
Dave told the club’s official web-site: “It doesn’t just rain it pours. The luck wasn’t with us. You cannot legislate for the ball hitting the corner flag and landing on a plate for him. We could have reacted better in the middle of the pitch and closing him down, but that sums up our luck at the moment. The corner flag has got an assist and we are not getting that little bit of luck at the moment.
“That is football and it happens. We huffed and puffed but we probably didn’t create enough on the day. Yes we flashed a few crosses across the box and hit the bar from Brad’s free-kick but that’s not enough. It's goals that count and we need to be better with the ball in the final third of the pitch and make better decisions.
“There is work to be done, so we can be more proactive than reactive when we are in possession in their half of the pitch. We need to know what to do when we have the ball. We have to be better there and have more cohesion when going forward. We huffed and puffed again like we did against Cambridge.
“Coventry are a good team and are confident because results are going for them. We were defensively sound without being excellent. They had some chances late on when we were chasing the game and we know we have to improve.”
On his decision to change his goalkeeper for the trip to Coventry, Artell explained: “I spoke to Ben at length yesterday and explained that he needed a breather. He is still fairly young and has played a lot of games. He has played over 100 successive games and has conceded some goals of late. I don’t think he has made a major error this season but we just felt he needed a breather before he does make one.
“If he felt he needed a breather is another thing. Players never think that and he will be back in the team at some point because he is a good goalkeeper. It may do him some good to come out for a bit, watch the game and get a better understanding. We take our other players out after 15, 20 games, but Ben hasn’t had that.
“If I didn’t think Dave was good enough then he wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have given him a new deal. He is a good goalkeeper and he did very well. He made some good saves and saved a couple of one on ones late on when we were chasing the game. It’s one game. The challenge for Dave is to do that again and again and again. He has to repeat it now.”