Draw for the round of 16 takes place on Saturday
David Artell says that he will continue to use the Papa John’s Trophy matches to give some of his fringe contingent a chance to impress, but he knows that after reaching the last 16 of the competition, the possibility of taking a team to Wembley is incentive enough.
Crewe overcame Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday evening thanks to goals from Ben Knight and Oli Finney and Artell says the competition has been good for morale this season. Crewe won all their previous group games.
Artell told us: “The competition is a good one when you get to the later stages. It has its critics but for lower league clubs, the players and the fans it is chance to go to Wembley.
“Of course the league is vitally important and we need to be winning games of football but the Papa John’s Trophy has been a nice distraction.
“It has given me the chance to look at some players, look at one or two things and give those players who need some game time what they need.
He added: “It is all about improving and getting better and we can use these games to put some work into them in a match situation.”
The Papa John’s Trophy Round of 16 draw will take place live on Sky Sports on Saturday 4 December from the Coventry Building Society Arena.
The draw will be conducted following the culmination of Coventry City’s Sky Bet Championship fixture against West Bromwich Albion, with former Sunderland and Baggies talisman Kevin Phillips, and former Cardiff City and Sky Blues striker Jay Bothroyd on-hand to draw the teams out.
There will be 16 Clubs involved in next stage of the competition with the draw split into Northern and Southern sections.
The Round of 16 draw, hosted by David Prutton, will be available to watch live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football, with the details of the completed draw also covered in full on the @PapaJohnsTrophy Twitter account.
Round of 16 matches will be played week commencing 3 January.