Boss says EFL Cup gives others a chance to impress as Alex prepare for toughest test yet.
David Artell says that the Papa Johns’ Trophy tie against his hometown side Rotherham United this evening will provide an opportunity for some to stake their claim for more involvement - but with no weekend fixture to prepare for, the Alex boss has the luxury of going stronger if he so wishes.
Crewe host Rotherham at the Mornflake Stadium in the Northern quarter-final of the competition and Artell says that he will continue to use the EFL Cup in the way ‘that is right for the football club’.
Artell told us: “It was similar to the last round when we had Doncaster and he didn’t have a game before the cup game and Richie (Wellens) went stronger because we thought we would go strong. As it happens I made 9 changes to their 2 or 3 and we still won the game fairly comfortably.
“What I will do, is to try and pick a team to win the game, but I will also pick a team that is right for the Football Club and if that means giving some of them another opportunity then I will. You will find out an hour or so before kick-off.
“Like I’ve said in the build up to this game, this competition has served us well this season. We have won four games now and given players their opportunities. Zac Williams played against Wolverhampton Wanderers Under-23s and the following game he was starting away at Bolton in the league. Connor O’Riordan and Joel Tabiner have been involved and played games and it has been a great experience for them.
Artell added: “We use these games for that reason. It isn’t all necessarily about winning these games for us. It is and it isn’t. We know it is getting closer to a possible appearance at Wembley and all that and the prize money, but it is also a great opportunity to develop our own players as well and give them first-team experience.”