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All Part Of Stephen's Development

1 February 2021

Boss says Walker change was just to try something different in cagey encounter

David Artell admitted that he only withdrew Stephen Walker in the opening minutes of the second half against Ipswich Town because he felt we needed a change to try and break the deadlock. Walker was replaced by Owen Dale early on in the second half and in a game of few chances; Artell felt we needed to try something different.

It worked to a certain degree with Charlie Kirk giving the Alex the lead with a wonderful finish from Ryan Wintle’s excellent run and pass, just seven minutes later – but Crewe couldn’t hold onto the advantage and ended up drawing their third game in four.

Artell explained the change to the club’s official website: “With Stephen coming off, I just felt that a chance was needed in a cagey game. It wasn’t tactical and he didn’t pick up an injury.

“I just felt we needed to look at something different because we are trying to win games of football. There is no issue and Stephen is a very good player. He is still a young boy learning the game and that is what he is here for.

“It is all part of his development and all of our young players have gone through it. If you spoke to him, he would probably say that he didn’t have the best of games but that is fine. That is going to happen.

“He apologised when he came off and said ‘sorry gaffer’ and I just said to him, don’t apologise, what are you apologising for. That shows how well he wants to do and what a humble guy he is.

“We will pick him up and he will come again because he is an excellent player and works hard. We are here to help him and Stephen is no different because he is on loan. “

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