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Artell: "We Didn't Pass Well Enough Or Often Enough"

14 August 2021

David Artell was disappointed with our distribution in possession this afternoon as Portsmouth ran out deserving 2-0 winners at Fratton Park. Crewe tried to remain in the game for as long possible and had to work tirelessly to repel a wave of Pompey attacks in what was an impressive display from one of League One’s promotion candidates. Our resolve was finally broken in the opening minutes of the second half.

Following our first loss of the new campaign, Artell told the club’s official website: “It was a tough afternoon and Portsmouth thoroughly deserved their victory. I am not taking anything away from them because we didn’t deserve anything but we didn’t pass the ball well enough or often enough.

“I accept that as my fault because the players have taken me literally, I've perhaps been too descriptive during the week. The players have done exactly what I’ve asked of them but I should have told them more often to pass the ball and be bolder in possession. We have to show a bit move guile than that when we have it.

“For the first half an hour we did that fine, defensively, but we forgot to pass the ball to each other. When we did, we were fine but we didn’t do that nearly enough. Then towards the end of the game, some of them ran out of gas and that is disappointing as well.

“I didn’t think we were ever out of it and had our best spell in the game in terms of chances after they scored the first goal.  We didn’t deserve anything that is for sure and we have to be far better in possession. There is work to be done.

“We have to move on and move on quickly. I’ve learnt a few things today and we have to learn from it and get better.”

The boss revealed that Owen Dale did not feel well prior to the game after going down with a sickness bug, but he wanted to give it a go.

“Owen had a sickness bug but felt better so gave it a go and lasted 40 minutes or whatever it was. It’s not covid, he tested negative yesterday and then again today, said the gaffer.

“We will separate him from the group the best we can, so if it infectious, he doesn’t affect anyone else.”

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