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Artell:"Game Management Is Something We Have To Learn"

29 January 2022

Alex boss disappointed that we played into Rotherham's hands in second half

David Artell says that the double whammy of seeing substitute Scott Robertson sent-off for two bookable offences and then Michael Smith helping himself to a simple tap in from a resultant free-kick killed any hopes of Crewe getting anything from the game late on.

Crewe had been chasing an equaliser since the 7th minute when Smith headed the promotion favourites Rotherham United ahead at Mornflake Stadium and those decisive minutes that saw us go down to ten men and then duly concede from the free-kick ended any hopes of salvaging what would have been a ‘good point’ against Paul Warne’s side.

Following the 2-0 defeat, Artell told the club’s official website: “The red card played its part because we were in the game at that stage and then to compound matters, we gave Smith a tap-in from knee high from the free-kick. We made poor decisions throughout the game and we gave them two goals.

“The first one is not acceptable but it’s forgivable because we ask them to play like that. I take responsibility for that because I want them to play out from the back and link up the play, and when we concede goals from that then we hold our hands up, I take the rap for that. But we have got to do better because what we were doing was not difficult at that point.

“Then to have a sending off and then a second goal against us in the space of 30 seconds has made it almost impossible. Whenever it is at 1-0, you have a chance. We showed that at their place.

“We actually limited their chances at our goal in the first half. For all their dominance they scored the header and then had one scramble from the corner. So you go alright its 1-0 at half time and now we have got the wind. They played the conditions better than us in that second half and we didn’t ask enough questions in that second half.

“We played into the way they wanted us to play, as far from their goal as possible and we made some poor decisions and the sending off and goal has changed the game massively into their favour with 20 or so minutes to go. Again, mistake after mistake and game management is something we have to learn.

He added: “We know that every game is important for us at the moment. We are not under any illusions we have got to start winning games of football.”

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