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Bell: ‘Curle’s men will present tough challenge’

14 February 2023

Lee Bell says Crewe Alexandra will need to deliver a strong performance to beat Hartlepool United tonight (Tuesday, 7.45pm).

Pools sit third bottom of League Two, six points behind The Railwaymen.

But Keith Curle’s side have improved since the turn of the year, and picked up four points from their last two matches.

Bell said: “Every game we play between now and the end of the season will be a tough game, that’s my message to the players.

“Regardless of who we are playing and where they are on the league, we have to treat them the same, you can’t switch off. They are all important as each other and we have to play well.

“Keith has brought in good players; they are organised and have a really sound structure. Ultimately both teams will want to win the match and we have to set our stall out to do that.”

Hartlepool top-scorer Josh Umerah has caught the eye with 13 goals so far this season – one of which came against Crewe in a 1-1 draw earlier this season.

While Bell says his defenders must be wary of him, he believes Umerah is not Hartlepool’s only threat.

He added: “He is a good player with standout attributes. It’s up to our central defenders to deal with that. We have to stop him getting in the box, and if he gets in there, we have to deal with it.

“But Hartlepool have other threats across the pitch. The manager has changed their style slightly, and he is very experienced, a good guy. We wish him well - apart from at Gresty Road.”

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