David Artell believes that his Crewe Alexandra side struggled to work out Gillingham’s tactical press in the first half on Tuesday night. The Alex gave themselves a mountain to climb in the second half after conceding three uncharacteristic goals at the Priestfield Stadium.
Travis Johnson was penalised for a foul on Jordan Graham for a 10th minute penalty award and then we handed possession back to the home side for the other two goals.
Crewe continued to try and play into midfield but were evidently caught on a number of occasions, thus allowing Gillingham to counter-attack following the transition. Our usual passing standards did not reach the standard and Artell said that presented Steve Evans’ side with the initiative.
David Artell told us: “We didn’t deal with a few aspects of their game. We gave them two goals trying to play into midfield when their midfield players were right on top of us. When you do that and the midfield are pressing you then you are asking for trouble and that is what happened.
“We were our own worst enemy and then we conceded a fourth goal from two headers from a long throw. They also had another disallowed for a foul, so it’s those details that are so important.
“I don’t think we worked it out in the first half and that led to the performance we gave in those 45 minutes. It improved in the second half and we had good chances of our own but it wasn’t enough and we have got to be better.
The boss added: “We will go through it with them, we will show them and we will go from there and the attention is now firmly on Ipswich.”