David Artell could not hide his disappointment as a poor Boxing Day performance ended in a 3-1 defeat at Salford. Crewe gave themselves a mountain to climb after conceding two early goals but after Harry Pickering finally pulled one back in the dying minutes, we shot ourselves in the foot once again from a corner.
Crewe could have salvaged something from the game in those closing stages but we never gave ourselves that chance.
The Crewe Alexandra boss told the club’s official website: “The second half was better but the first half was really poor from us. There are no excuses from us, we got beat by the better team and that is the first thing we have to say. They were better than us today, especially in the first half.
“I can point to the illnesses and injuries but I won't, we had a team out there today that were more than capable of getting a result. Our application was poor in the first half.
“I think it took 25 minutes for us to register the first shot on goal or have that first foray into their box and we found ourselves 2-0 down.
“For the first 25 minutes we were poor and the majority of them were on easy street in that first half. It was unacceptable from us and we didn’t got out there and earn the right to play. We have to earn that right to play and we were way off it. Life isn’t like that and football certainly isn’t. You have to go and get in their faces when they have the ball and we didn’t do that enough.
“We had more of the ball in the second half and we got the goal late on after some real pressure from us and we thought ‘go on then go and get something from a mistake-laden day’ but then we shot ourselves in the foot again.
“We conceded a ridiculous goal because we didn’t mark properly, we didn’t have the desire to head the ball and their body shape wasn’t right, not doing their jobs, and that killed any momentum we had gained. The corner came from a ridiculous pass in the first place, so that third goal summed up our performance really.
“I will defend the players to the hilt and not just because it is my job but they have to give 100% and run around and we didn’t have enough of them doing that for us today in that first half.
“The fans were terrific today. They were clapping at the end and honestly if they had given us some stick I think it would have been justified today. They were terrific for us.”