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Boss: ‘Cup upset will bring us closer together’

10 August 2023

Lee Bell believes Crewe Alexandra’s stunning win at Sunderland will bring his players even closer together.

The Railwaymen held the Championship side 1-1 thanks to a disciplined and positive performance at the Stadium of Light, and then won 5-3 on penalties.

The Manager was delighted at earning a place in the Carabao Cup second round, and is sure the success will breed confidence and togetherness.

Bell explained: “I thought the players were excellent. It was a real team effort from a group of lads who are all in it together and want to go in the right direction.

"Everyone put a shift in and they had to do that because Sunderland are a good side. We looked a really organised team and showed real courage when we had the ball.

"It shows we are a good team and it will bring us closer together, and give us positives and belief going forward into the season.

"It was a good night and I hope everyone enjoyed it. We didn’t want to come here to just make up the numbers - the players took on the information we gave them brilliantly.

“It showed the intelligence of the players to be able to take on the information and deliver that performance.

“I’m delighted for everyone connected to the club – especially the fans who made the long trip to support us. I wanted to celebrate with the fans and show my appreciation at the end.

“We won’t get too excited. We won’t get too low when we get a knockback and we are not getting too high about this. We have to just keep building.”

Luke Offord broke the deadlock in the first half but Chris Rigg levelled for the hosts in the second half.

The Alex’s five spot-kicks were all of outstanding quality – and keeper Harvey Davies saved one to send Crewe through.

Bell added: “They were really good penalties! We practiced them briefly but they were excellent so we didn’t carry on doing them – you can sometimes do too much in terms of practicing penalties.

“We got good outcomes and the lads held their nerves.”

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