Boss disappointed to exit EFL Trophy after penalty shoot-out defeat.
David Artell was disappointed to lose in the cruellest of fashions against Hull City, but he was genuinely pleased with his side’s overall performance against the current League One leaders.
The Papa John’s Trophy tie ended goalless over the 90 minutes and in the end had to be decided by a penalty shoot-out. Despite Dave Richards saving two of the five spot-kicks, Crewe missed three to eventually lost 3-2.
Following our cup exit at the knockout stage, boss David Artell told us: “There is always room for improvement if you win, lose or draw and we can take heart from the performance. We wanted to win the game and get through but we had the hardest draw against the league leaders and gave a good account of ourselves.
“It was a good game, especially for our younger players. We had a tough spell, in the first half of the second half but we stuck at it and came through it. There was some tired legs out there but we hung in there and had some chances. It was a terrific experience for them and I was reluctant to bring any subs on because a lot of them needed 90 minutes and it was good for the younger ones to come through. They were all doing well enough.
“When you have youngsters like Regan, Rio, Travis and Billy having to come through the last 15/20 minutes, it was pleasing that they came through. They would have learnt a lot and some who were not good against Shrewsbury in the last group game, improved greatly this evening.
“We had arguably the best chance of the first half with Chris’ (Porter) header and had one or two more half chances.
“No one likes to lose and it is cruel to lose a penalty shoot-out. Dave (Richards) really embraces the challenge and he has saved two of them, but we have missed three and it is what it is. I am not going to criticise those who are prepared to step forward and take one.
“I asked who wanted one and five hands went up and Kirky was next. The other three lads and Trig had to sort it out between themselves if it came to it.
“We have not injuries to contend with and how we have to go again against Northampton on Saturday.”