David Artell believes that our outstanding performance against Championship side Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup set the tone for our season. The Alex excelled at the Riverside to lead 2-0 until the final 20 minutes before an injury to defender Olly Lancashire changed the complexion of the tie. Jonathan Woodgate’s side fought back to force a penalty shoot-out - but thanks to some heroics from goalkeeper Dave Richards and some expertly taken spot-kicks, the Alex progressed in the competition.
The Crewe boss believes that the overall performance instantly boosted confidence, especially away from home and set us on the way to being involved in a promotion race before the outbreak of Covid-19 put the season on hold.
Artell told the club’s official website: “We have had a number of good performances and results this season and that is why we have been up there in the top places for much of the season.
“There have been a few stand out performances but I think that the way we played at Middlesbrough early on gave us real belief and confidence. It set the tone for what we could do away from home.
“We were playing a good team with experienced players and I am not saying we played them off the park but we were excellent and deserved to win the game in the 90 minutes.
“They came back into it after Olly was injured and we had to rely on an inexperienced 19-year-old in the centre of our defence (Billy Sass-Davies) but we were superior for large parts of the game and the Middlesbrough fans and staff were very complimentary about the way we played that night.
“Like I’ve said there have been some really good performances, the home win over Swindon, the way we played in the second half against Salford.
“I also think the win at Walsall was important. We hadn’t won away for a while and needed to get back on track and we did. We went 1-0 down but showed great character to turn that game around. We dug in and got the result. “