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"Hopefully Free Week Will Allow Us to Get Some Players Back"

13 December 2021

Boss says it is tough to be operating with just one fit striker in the ranks

Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell is hoping that a free mid-week of fixtures will allow him to get some of his forward players back from illness and injury.

The Alex boss has had to alter his plan late in recent weeks due to 11th hour withdrawals and he says that the players deserve credit for having to readjust late on in the day when it comes to tactics and formation.

After inspiring Crewe to a well-deserved 2-0 win over Lincoln City in the week, both Ben Knight and Mikael Mandron were unable to face Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend. Mandron, who scored both goals against the Imps from the penalty spot was ill and the on-loan Knight rolled his ankle in Friday’s final training session.

With both Scott Kashket and Chris Long ruled out with illness, it left Artell with just one fit striker in Chris Porter and he himself had been a late withdrawal from the starting line-up against Lincoln after complaining of some discomfort in his ankle during the warm up.

Artell said: “The preparations have not been ideal and we have had to cope with that. We lost two against Lincoln through illness and injury and it was same against Sheffield Wednesday with Mika and Ben.

“We had to plan differently and credit to the players for taking those changes on board and being competitive against one of the best sides in the division. It wasn’t ideal but we had to get on with it again.

He added: “It will be good to have that free week. We have one fit forward in Chris (Porter) and he is not 100% fit either, so hopefully having no mid-week game may us get a couple back for the weekend game at Gillingham at least.”

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