David Artell says that the commanding partnership of the on-loan Michael Nottingham and youngster Luke Offord provided the platform for Crewe Alexandra to dominate the second half against Oldham Athletic at the weekend.
Offord was making just his third senior appearance since coming into the team for the injured Nicky Hunt, and Nottingham just his 6th appearance following his loan move from Blackpool in the January transfer window.
Crewe conceded first against the run of play but fought back to win 2-1 thanks to goals from James Jones and an injury time winner from Charlie Kirk.
Artell told the club’s official website: “I think they have both been terrific. The best centre-halves go unnoticed and you only notice them when you need them.
“I don’t think you really notice them on Saturday because they didn’t make mistakes. They won their headers, they didn’t let people run in behind and there were no scary moments. They were up against Danny Rowe as well, who has scored a bag full in the National League and a few other tricky players.
“They kept possession and set the moves off and were commanding throughout. They didn’t deserve to concede a goal either. They deserved a clean-sheet because they were two of the best players on the pitch and they gave us the foundation to dictate the game.”