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In opposition: Crewe Alexandra - what they're saying

7 April 2022

A popular figure during his time as a player with Crewe Alexandra, David Artell’s appointment as manager was warmly greeted in January 2017 – and much of the work he has done since has hardly diminished his standing.

Rotherham-born Artell made 82 appearances during his time as a defender for Alex, scoring six goals. He captained the side to promotion to League One in 2012 via the play-offs and would also manage the team to promotion to the third tier in 2020 

After calling time on his professional career, Artell was appointed operations manager within the Crewe Academy in 2014 until taking charge of first team matters in 2017. 

Guiding Alex away from the status of strugglers, within three-and-a-half years Artell had taken them into League One. Crewe sat top of League Two when the season was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic but they would finish second on the points per game method. 

Last season Artell guided Crewe to their highest league finish since relegation from the Championship in 2006. 

This term has proved to be much more of a struggle and Alex could be relegated at the Eco-Power Stadium on Saturday, 

Artell on trying to continue playing his brand of football despite recent defeats: 

“It’s not easy. We all know it’s not easy. You find out in times like this the true test of character. If you want to test the character of losing, then be on the run that we’re on. 

“We’ve got to have effort and determination from all 11 – or all 14, if you like. Not just today, but tomorrow, Thursday, Friday, every single day. 

“It’s easy when you’re winning – you want to stay out on the training pitch an extra 20 minutes. Well, you’ve got to do that now, more so. It’s all them little bits that add up.” 

On what the team must do to get out of their current form: 

“You’ve got to ask yourself if you’re still trying to get better, or are you just surviving and accepting what the situation is. 

“You’ve got to want to get out of this. You’ve got to really want this. 

“Talk is cheap. It’s about actions. It’s about actually doing the little things. That’s me, the staff and the players. I’m talking about all of us. 

“How much do we want to win games of football? The fans that come deserve all the credit that goes their way.” 

On the loss to MK Dons in midweek: 

“We’ve got to make sure whoever’s in front of us – a footballing team or non-footballing team – that we’re better than them, and we play our way. I thought the longer the game went on, the more that happened. 

“You’ve got to try and give the players the best platform to succeed, if you like. 

“But you’re asking 17- and 18-year-old lads to survive against, like I said, what might be the best footballing team in League One, and they might be in the Championship next year – and that’s tough in itself.” 

On the importance of winning this weekend: 

“Just win one will do at the minute. There’s no sense in saying we’re going to win two, three, four, five or whatever it is. We’ve got to win one – and that starts Saturday.”

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