Delighted former Mansfield Town star Dave Artell felt his Crewe Alexandra side’s 2-1 win at the One Call Stadium today was their best showing of the season.
Crewe, who also recently won at MK Dons, took all three points with a Callum Ainley brace in the last 19 minutes as manager Artell’s game plan of staying in the match until late on worked a treat.
“I thought that was our best performance of the season – not in terms of goals and the margin of victory - but I thought we were terrific,” he smiled.
“I thought we thoroughly deserved the victory and we were the better team throughout the game.
“I thought we had energy when we needed energy, I thought we had men when we needed men and skill when we needed skill.
“Our possession retention was good when we needed it.”
Artell explained how the game plan he devised while watching Stags draw with Lincoln on Monday came up trumps.
“Our game plan worked today. We said after 60 minutes Mansfield will blow up,” he said.
“We watched them Monday night against Lincoln when I thought Lincoln had the last half-hour and, if they’d had a bit more guile, they’d have won the game.
“We felt the longer we stayed in the game at 0-0 the more likely we were to win it and that is how it’s panned out.
“We could hear their manager absolutely bawling his head off at half-time and we said if we can weather another 15 minutes you can play your football and they won’t get near you then.”
He added: “We needed to weather their physicality with our young players.
“I thought we controlled the game for large parts. Mansfield have some livewires up front but I can’t really remember them getting in behind us and creating clear cut chances.
“I don’t think we deserved the one against. The 14 lads who played today were terrific and Callum took his goals well.”