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Fred Barber: 'Alex managerial duo have a bright future'

6 September 2022

Fred Barber believes Crewe Alexandra duo Alex Morris and Lee Bell have a bright future ahead of them.

That's partly because he sees similarities in their diligent approach to that of managerial giant Sam Allardyce.

The experienced keeper coach worked at Bolton Wanderers for eight years under Allardyce, who went on to take charge of the likes of Newcastle United, West Ham, Everton, and Sunderland, as well as the England national team.

Now after nearly six months of working under Crewe manager Morris and assistant Bell, the 59-year-old has been impressed.

Barber says he sees the same attention to detail as he witnessed Allardyce apply at the top flight.

He said: “Sam got labelled as a long-ball merchant, but he wasn’t really. He could do all sorts of things. He was a good technician and he knew what he was doing, because he had to play against some top teams.

“I can see a bit of Sam in the young lads Alex and Lee. They go through everything with a fine-tooth comb, they go through everything. I think they’ll have a bright future.”

Barber, who has coached the likes of Jussi Jaaskelainen, Tomas Kuzack, and Ali Al-Habsi in a long and distinguished coaching career, joined Crewe in 2015.

He is currently working with Arsenal loan man Arthur Okonkwo, Dave Richards, and Tom Booth.

Barber revealed that he used his relationship with another former student of his, Arsenal and England man Aaron Ramsdale, to help secure Okonkwo’s services.

He added: “I spoke to Aaron during pre-season, because I still keep in touch with his dad, and I asked what Arthur is like.

"He told me Arthur is a good lad who wants to learn. He had a few clubs after him, a couple in The Championship and League One, but Aaron knows that I will improve him and I think that helped.”

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