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Artell: "Fitness Levels Were Good But They Have to Show That Over 50 Plus Games"

7 August 2019

David Artell says he was pleased with the fitness levels shown by his players in the opening game of the season – but he stresses that level of energy has to be shown in the next 50 plus matches.

Artell said that the fact that his Crewe Alexandra side kept plugging away against one of the promotion favourites, Plymouth Argyle, so much so that we were caught out in stoppage on the counter attack.

Our fitness levels on Saturday were certainly one of the positives to take out of the defeat and Artell says that it remains important that we maintain these levels throughout the campaign.

The Crewe boss said: “Our fitness levels were good and we gave it a right go until the end. We kept plugging away trying to get back into the game and the fans could see that we were committed to do that.

“We were on top in that second half and that was evident by the number of fouls Plymouth started giving away. I said to the fourth official at one stage that their number 5 continues to foul because he is tired. The fourth was saying ‘that one was careless’ and I just reminded him that it was because he was gone.

“On another day it could have been different but it wasn’t. We don’t mask over it. We lost 3-0 and that doesn’t mask the first 15/20 minutes when Plymouth were at it a lot better than us. Their energy was better in those first 25 or so minutes and during that spell we scored two poor goals from our point of view.

“We started too slowly for my liking and we have to improve on that. Maybe some were still in pre-season mould but that cannot happen.

“We looked fit and credit to the players and the staff for that but we have got to be like that all season. It is the first game and there is plenty of football to be played yet.”

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