Team News From The Crewe Camp

Last updated : 18 January 2008 By Thetashkentterror
Danny O'Donnell
Crewe defender Danny O'Donnell spoke to the Sentinel about how the Alex' are doing in the post-Christmas spell, O'Donnell suggesting that the back four need to tighten up if the Railwaymen are to get anywhere this season :

"We've been unlucky with a lot of injuries. Every member of the back four has been out. I've been out for a long spell and Danny (Woodards) has missed the odd games here or there, Chris McCready injured his ankle, and before that Julien Baudet did his back.

"You could go through every single member of the defence. But we need to put that behind us and build a strong base because even though we won 4-3 against Tranmere you have to think how many times are you going to be able to score four goals in a game.

"We need to be keeping clean sheets and sneaking a goal when the score is 2-1. We know we're not going to score four every week, so we need to be really strong at the back. It's still so, so tight in League One, but we're not kidding anyone. We know we're closer to the bottom teams than the top and we have got some difficult games coming up.

"We're not going to get too ahead of ourselves and start talking about the play-offs at the moment despite beating Tranmere last week. We need to deal with the immediate future, so we are looking to pick up as many points as we can in January and then we'll assess where we are our then. It has been stop-start for us at the back and we have now got to get the defence right as it is the basis of having a good side.

"We did that earlier on in the season and we looked strong for that. But it's not been easy with the players we've had out injured. I don't think we've ever had a settled back four and that doesn't help. Now we have Billy Jones out for eight weeks, which isn't going to help things. But we have to stick together and be a strong defensive unit."

In team news for the Railwaymen striker Ryan Lowe is definitely out of contention tomorrow after suffering a knee injury in Crewe's 1-0 defeat at home to Leeds on Monday night. Left-back Billy Jones is also sidelined with his own long-term knee problem while midfielders Ben Rix and James Bailey are rated as 50-50 for the match after suffering from illness this week.

Good news for Alex' first team coach Steve Holland though is that influential centre-half Julien Baudet is fit to play. Baudet seemingly having pulled his hamstring in the Leeds defeat only for it to turn out to be heavy cramp, Baudet having come through a training session today to prove his fitness.

Young Reading striker Simon Church plays the last game of his loan spell from the Madejski Stadium tomorrow. Meanwhile the Railwaymen are hoping to sign one of their old players early next week, that man being forward Steve Jones who looks likely to make a temporary move back to Gresty Road from Burnley.

The referee for tomorrow's match is Tyne and Wear FA official Colin Webster from Shotley Bridge, and he will be assisted down the lines by Paul Tierney from Wigan and Tony Harrington from Hartlepool. Meanwhile the fourth official is another Tyne and Wear man in Garry Wallace from Houghton-le-Springs.