David Artell’s believes that a combination of tired legs and poor game management cost his Crewe Alexandra side a result in our final Group C game in the Papa John’s Trophy against Shrewsbury.
Crewe had gallantly fought back from 2-0 down to lead thanks to a well taken brace from Daniel Powell and a first goal for the club from Offrande Zanzala – but the Shrews battled back to win the tie in the second half of the second half.
Crewe still qualified as group runner-up and Artell says it is still important to dissect the performance and take the positives and negatives from it. He made nine changes to the side that defeated Bolton in the FA Cup at the weekend with only Oli Finney and Daniel Powell starting at Gresty Road.
The Alex boss told the club’s official website: “Firstly, you cannot give any team a 2-0 lead like we did. The first two goals were shambolic from our point of view and I don’t think that’s me being too harsh.
“We then fought back to lead 3-2 and it was like, go on then, continue doing what you are doing and win the game. But it became a Basketball game.
“The turnover of possession in the last 20 minutes from both sides was really high and it became end-to-end when we didn’t need it to be. We were 3-2 up and didn’t need to chase the game.
“They then started getting in behind or down the sides of us and they had more legs than us in the final 20 minutes. I think we made some poor decisions and that could be down to game management or because they were shattered.
“In that situation we needed a calming presence to take the sting out of the game. Shrewsbury didn’t do anything different to what they had been doing in the game but suddenly they get in down the side and its 3-3 and then 4-3 and it slipped away from us.
He added: “It will be interesting to see the physical stats from that final 20 minutes because that is where we lost it but like I’ve said there were some pleasing things and some not so pleasing things to take from it.”