Artell says a boost in squad numbers and quality means competition is at a high level again.
Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell says the arrival of four new faces ahead of the summer transfer window has made the competition for places in the 18-man squad as fierce as at any time during his time as manager.
Scott Kashket, Scott Robertson, J’Neil Bennett and Madger Gomes joined earlier signings, Ben Knight, Christopher Long, Terell Thomas, Callum McFadzean and Kayne Ramsay in a new-look Alex squad.
Artell told the club’s official website: “The players know we have high standards here and they have to maintain those standards. They can’t expect to play if they don’t.
“We have a strong squad and the key is for them to get in the 18 because that is difficult enough at the moment. Maybe numbers dictated that in the past but not anymore.
“It will be a challenge for some to get in the matchday squad and that is the way we want it be every week. That hasn’t always been the case, so when those opportunities come they have to grab it and earn the shirt.
“It is important to have that competition for places because it strives on everyone to improve.”