The lowdown on our League 2 opponents continues
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Crewe have been regular opponents of the Reds in recent years. Last season they finished 15th in League Two after finishing the season well with six wins in their final nine games.
David Artell (pictured) was appointed Crewe boss in January 2017. The 37-year-old played nearly 500 games during his playing career including 72 appearances for Crewe between 2010-12.
Artell is prepared to be patient in terms of adding to his squad for next season, but he has made midfielder Paul Green and striker Shaun Miller, who had a loan spell at Crawley in 2014, permanent additions after they played on loan for Alex last season. Miller has signed for two years after leaving Carlisle and Green for one year after he was released by Oldham.
Artell said: “We will do our due diligence on the players because we want the right characters. Every transfer is a gamble and a bit of risk but we look to minimise that risk by doing our homework on them. They are paid handsomely but if it is money that floats their boat more than wanting to play and be successful then they won’t be for us.”
Defenders Zoumana Bakayogo, 31, and Ross Woodcock, 19, striker Chris Dagnall, 32, and Daniel Udoh, 20, who finished the season on loan at Solihull Moors, have all been released.
There have been 12 games between the clubs, all in the League, and Crewe have won the last three. Back in April goals from Perry Ng and Harry Pickering, either side of Jimmy Smith’s equaliser, sealed a 2-1 win with the goals all coming in the first half. Last December, Reds had Smith and Jordan Roberts sent off as we crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Gresty Road.
Reds’ two wins, both by 2-0 scorelines, came in March 2013 and December 2016.
With a predominance of clubs in the north-west following relegation for Oldham and Bury and promotion for Macclesfield and Tranmere, Crewe’s assistant boss Kenny Lunt thinks that might give clubs such as his could have an advantage with less travelling and more local derbies for fans to enjoy.
Lunt said: “Some bigger clubs have gone up to League One but there are still some big clubs in this league. It is still a strong and competitive league and has improved over the years. I think it gets harder each year.
“The standard is getting better and it is good to see we have a few more local games as well with the likes of Tranmere and Macclesfield coming up. It is easier for the supporters to travel and generate an atmosphere and having that local rivalry gives the games an extra edge.”