David Artell saved special praise for his 'three warriors at the back' after we picked up a clean-sheet and a point against Shrewsbury at the weekend. Artell was pleased with the battling qualities shown by his Crewe side in standing up to the physicality and power of Steve Cotterill’s side and believes that his three young defenders are coming of age through their performances.
Following the hard fought goalless draw at Gresty Road, Artell told the club’s official website: “The young lads have struggled with that side of the game in the past and we are not renowned for it. We struggled at Burton on New Years’ Day for instance but against a tough Shrewsbury side we were men.
“Billy Sass-Davies was a man out there. He has been to Yeovil on loan and come back a man and that loan did him the world of good. Luke Offord spent time out on loan, three months at Witton, an absolute warrior out there.
“Travis (Johnson) has been out on loan and is now finding his feet at first team level and had to play an unfamiliar position to him. They all stood up to it and that is one of the main reasons why we are able to get that clean-sheet and the subsequent point.
“It wasn’t just about those three or Trig (Dave Richards) making that one save either when we needed him too, it was about all of them putting that shift in to make sure we didn’t get beat.
The boss added: “There was a melee towards the end of the game and 2-3 months ago that’s a goal and we lose 1-0. This time, they were putting blocks in and were determined that the ball was not going to end up in our net. That is all part of their development and it was good to see.”