Hard-to-beat Crewe Alexandra make their way up the M6 on Saturday for what manager Steven Pressley expects to be a tough encounter with one of League Two’s in-form outfits.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, he said: “If you look at some of the statistics you see that they’re the third highest passers in the league, which you would expect of Crewe.
“They’ve scored the second highest amount of goals, and maybe what has been pointed at them in previous seasons is that they’re been a passing team, but maybe they haven’t been as effective when it comes to scoring goals. They’ve certainly sorted that this year.
“They have the fifth highest shots on target so they’re a team that’s really effective in what they do. The balance is good within the team because they have four or five really good young players from their academy and they have experienced players alongside that who know the game.”
With Crewe a team definitely in the ascendency at the moment, he added: “It’s a club that seems to go in cycles. It takes them two or three years to build a team, and then they have a really good season.
“Unfortunately for them they lose a lot of their key young players to the bigger clubs and then they have to start that cycle again. This seems to be the third-year of that cycle where they’ve got the balance perfect, and in many aspects they’re a very good team.
“Without doubt they’re gearing up to be involved in the promotion race. They’re unbeaten in four and they’ve only lost one of their six away games. That tells you the type of team they are.
“I’ve shown the players these statistics to make them aware of the fact that this will be a really tough game against one of this league’s best teams.
“They’re a strong footballing side, with the option of Chris Porter up top, and if they’re pressurised they can also go long. It’s a very good mix of how they can approach games and situations within games.”
“I’ve highlighted to the lads that Crewe are in good form and we’ve worked hard on how we’re going to play,” he continued. “But, and I’ve said this before, a lot of our principles never change.
“It’s just a couple of smaller details that we work on every week that I hope can help us. I think it will make for a really good game, Crewe are in really good form and they’ll be coming here full of confidence.
“They are where they are in the table because they’ve had a great start. Like I say, they’re a very good away side so it will be a real test and it’s another game we can’t wait to play.
“There’s a good feeling about the group after the games on Saturday and Tuesday, so there’s a good energy about the group.
“The big thing for us is that we want to put in a good performance in front of our own supporters. Our last game here was a win, which was the most important thing, but we want to win this game with the type of performance we put in at Newport on Saturday.”
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