David Artell hailed the performance of youngster Regan Griffiths on his full debut for the club. The Alex boss says that the ‘mature performance’ of Griffiths was the main positive to come out of our Group C defeat to Shrewsbury Town in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Both clubs had already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition having previous won their opening two matches against Bolton and Newcastle United’s Under-21s.
Griffiths, who spent a brief period out on loan at Witton Albion this season before a slight outbreak of Covid-19 at the non-league club curtailed that, made his mark in midfield against the Shrews. He had a big involvement in Crewe’s opening goal, scored by winger Daniel Powell.
Following the 4-3 defeat to the Shrews, Artell said: “I thought Regan was outstanding on his debut. It was a terrific performance from him.
“I think he showed a real maturity in his play. He has played a few Under-23 games this season and we have gone ‘is he quite ready?’ ‘Are we sure?’ but then Josh (Lundstram) gets his stress fracture, and it was like okay, on you go.
“Regan had a short time on loan at Witton before that was curtailed by Covid and we feel he can handle that level and play higher.
“We are not going to get carried away because Shrewsbury made a number of changes as well but I thought he was excellent for us. I thought he was our best player.
He added: “He gave the ball away once I think and kept it really well. He played with his head and it wasn’t a bad start to his career that’s for sure. “