Crewe Alexandra players have been made fully aware what the Boxing Day derby at Stockport County means to supporters.
That’s according to manager Lee Bell, who says he has been making sure everyone understands the added importance of the first clash between the two clubs for 11 years.
Bell himself played in the last meeting, in April 2011, which ended as a 2-0 victory for Crewe (Clayton Donaldson, OG).
He said: “We’ve let the players know it’s a derby and what is expected of them. We’ve told them what it means to the fans, and that it’s been more than 10 years since we’ve had this fixture.
“It’ll be really exciting, a full-house for a Boxing Day derby. We are looking forward to it, let’s hope we can pick the points up.”
Crewe haven’t played a competitive game since December 2, due to the postponements of clashes with Leyton Orient and Walsall.
Bell said the team will be fully prepared.
He added: “It’s been frustrating to go without a game for three weeks, the lads need a game. We can only do so many training sessions, so we want to get back on the pitch and the boys will be fully prepared.
“The players have been brilliant, there’s only be one day when they’ve not been at it and I let them know about that.
“Christmas is a time to be with family and I encourage everybody to do that, but we have to concentrate on the job too. Everybody has to look after themselves and be sensible. We are professional people working in a professional environment.”