David Artell praised debutant defender Luke Offord for his performance and temperament in helping the Alex get back to winning ways against Leyton Orient. Crewe won the game 2-0 at Gresty Road, but were forced to defend for large periods of the game, especially in the first half when the visitors were unlucky not to equalise with the number of chances they created.
Offord was forced into action at centre-half just before kick-off after veteran defender Nicky Hunt failed a late fitness test.
Artell told the club’s official website: “I thought Luke was outstanding on his debut. He went off with cramp at the end, but for 80 minutes he was terrific for us. He has a great temperament and he had that in the Under13’s when I took that age group.
“I asked him afterwards why he had come off and he said ‘cramp gaffer’. So I said what does that mean? And he replied ‘not fit enough gaffer’ and I just said ‘good lad’. That’s the standard.
“I would have left him on if I had known it was cramp and told him to get on with it. Be that man we are looking for.
“He did 80 minutes but centre-halves are expected to play 95+ minutes. That is Saturday, Tuesday and Saturday again. That is how they make their names in the game, churning out those performances.
He added: “We will get him there but I thought for 80 minutes he was terrific. He is still young and at a good age and he will get used to the level.”