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Bell ‘bitterly disappointed’ with second-half display

3 December 2022

Lee Bell says he let Crewe Alexandra players know exactly how he felt about their second-half performance against Newport County on Friday.

The Railwaymen lost a 1-0 half-time lead, provided by Lachlan Brook’s super strike, and suffered a 2-1 reverse as Cameron Norman and Offrande Zanzala hit back.

Afterwards, manager Bell said: “I’m bitterly disappointed we have churned out a second-half performance like that and I’ve let the players know. 

“The first half, we were fairly pleased to an extent. We saw enthusiasm, and willingness to get on the football.

“You have to take positives from the first half, I thought the front three were excellent. We needed to replicate that in the second half. 

“We spoke to the players at half time and told them exactly what Newport would bring, but it still looked like it was a shock to them.

“The message was to build off the basics. Don’t go thinking you are ahead of the game. But that was missing massively in the second half.

“We couldn’t get out, couldn’t get a foothold in the game. We threw some balls into the box towards the end but made poor decisions when we got up there. 

“The players have to show more ability on the ball, there were too many turnovers through simple errors, and we have to do better than what we’ve done."

Bell made it clear he will not accept a soft centre in his team.

He added: "It’s virtually impossible to stop the ball getting near your box because nobody takes more than two touches on the ball, and it’s very effective. So, you have to cope with that, and we coped in the first half but we didn’t in the second half. 

“We got what we deserved in the end. I’ve seen that happen at this football club a lot – being hurt by long balls into our box, set-plays, second phases from set-plays. It’s my job to eradicate that.”  

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