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Alex Morris: ‘Players must learn to stay on front foot’

4 September 2022

Alex Morris says he must quickly get to the bottom of what has caused Crewe Alexandra to lose five points from winning positions in the last two home games.

The Railwaymen led Northampton 2-0 at the break but finished with a 2-2 draw on August 20, and then lost a 1-0 half-time advantage over Stevenage to go down 2-1 yesterday (September 3).

The manager admits he is frustrated at the displays in both second-halves, because his men did not execute orders to attack.

Morris said: "Believe it or not, we do not tell our players to sit back and defend a lead in the second-half.

"We don’t, absolutely not, that’s not the way we are wired and not the way we are brought up here. But it seems to be happening, and we have to find out why.

"Whether it’s a mentality thing, just trying to survive, I don’t know. But it’s my job to fix it because it can’t keep happening. We have dropped essentially five points from winning positions in the last two home games.

"Points are really precious in this league, they are so hard to come by, and you have to make sure you keep them.

"The best way to keep them is by staying on the front foot and extending your lead.

"In the first-half, I thought we were very good and should have been more than one goal to the good going into half-time. We missed some good opportunities and were hurting them down the sides.

"We told the players at half-time that the only way we could lose the game was through ill-discipline or individual mistakes. Their first goal was a mixture of both, and the second was an individual mistake."

Rod McDonald's first goal for the club had put The Alex ahead after 45 minutes, but a Jamie Reid double had Stevenage 2-1 in the lead within 22 minutes of the restart.

But there were still 23 minutes, plus five minutes of injury time, to recover.

The gaffer was disappointed at the way his players responded. 

Morris added: "What was even more frustrating was, yes, we’ve gone 2-1 down, but it’s not the end of the world!

"There was still time to work ourselves back into the game but we didn’t build up pressure.

"It’s difficult against Stevenage because they are experts at taking the sting out of the game, but that’s up to us to solve and we didn’t do that.

"We were naive in our attempts to get back in the game once we’d fallen behind.  

"We've found out what it’s like to lose a game of football at home, and it’s horrible."

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