Boss pleased that we began to get on the ball and show courage against an impressive Stoke City side
David Artell says that our pre-season friendly with Stoke City will prove to be a useful tool when it comes to working on areas of our game.
Crewe found themselves 3-0 down at half-time to the impressive side from the Championship - but the Alex boss was pleased with the way his players rallied in the second half to make a real game of it.
Second half goals from Josh Lundstram and Owen Dale saw us make a real go of it but we just couldn’t find an equaliser on what was an unforgettable night for young Ashton Hulme.
Following the 3-2 defeat at what was a buzzing Mornflake Stadium, Artell told us: “It was a tough 90 minutes and I said before the game that I thought it would be the toughest. I think Saturday against Forest will be tough as well but when we play Stoke, there is that derby feel and the emotional side attached to it.
“It was the like the first game of the season. It was fast and frenetic and it took our lads a long time to get accustomed to the tempo, but when they did we gave a good account of ourselves.
“I thought we had arrested the momentum before their substitutions and we deserved to make a game of it but we cannot have the first half we had. If I was Michael O’Neill I could be saying it should have been 9-0 and that is the truth.
“There were a lot of things to look at in that first half but credit to our lads they began to string some passes together in the second half and looked something like the team we are.
He added: “I said to them at half time that some of them don’t want to get on the ball and when that happens they get shouted at me, but it was pre-season and I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I wanted them to show some courage in possession and to their credit they did that in the second half and we looked much better.”