Callum Ainley made his first start for almost four months against Northampton Town at the weekend and boss Dave Artell was pleased with the youngster’s contribution in the 1-0 win. Crewe won the game thanks to Owen Dale’s emphatic finish from Luke Murphy’s sublime pass through to him with the outside of his boot.
Ainley, who had previously made a 30 minute cameo appearance against Burton Albion the previous week on his competitive return from injury, lasted a further 70 minutes against Northampton.
The Alex boss told the club’s official website: “I thought Callum was good on Saturday, really good.
“He had a great chance to put Tom (Lowery) clean through on goal in the first half but didn’t quite see it and that is to be expected because it was his first start back and it is difficult to have been out for a few months and then come back into the hustle and bustle of it all.
“It does take a bit of time to engage your football brain back in after being out for a period of time and get that pitch geography right again.
“That decision making will come and we have been cautious with him. We thought about putting him on the bench earlier than Burton but felt he wasn’t quite ready. We gave him 30 minutes against Burton and he did okay but on Saturday with those minutes coming back, he looked good.
He added: “I thought the midfield were good. They made sure we didn’t lose the game, especially when Ryan (Wintle) came on for Callum, but we also had that bit of quality from one of our midfielders to create the goal for Owen and win us the game.”