Artell taunts Bakayogo with Ainley ‘birthday’ jibe

Posted Sunday, November 18, 2018 by PA

Artell taunts Bakayogo with Ainley ‘birthday’ jibe

Manager David Artell revealed how his mind games inspired Callum Ainley to excel against his former team-mate Zoumana Bakayogo as Crewe bounced back from two cup exits by beating Tranmere 3-2.

The winger’s double strike, his first goals of the season, helped the Railwaymen move up to 15th in the table and end a run of four straight defeats.

Artell said he was confident Ainley had it in him to give Rovers left-back Bakayogo – who was released by Crewe in the summer – a difficult afternoon on his return to Gresty Road.

He revealed: “I asked Callum how many birthdays he’s had this year and he said only one. But I told him he would have another one today and that is not being disrespectful to the player he was up against, but we know he is better than him.

“And he had a terrific game – he scored twice and created another.”

Ainley struck in both halves with two fierce drives, the first of which Rovers keeper Scott Davies failed to move for as it arrowed into the bottom corner.

The second came at the end of a slick move in which Charlie Kirk and Jordan Bowery worked space for Ainley and he belted the ball under Davies to put Crewe back in front five minutes after the break.

Prolific Tranmere striker James Norwood had squared matters with a cool finish six minutes before the break after Connor Jennings slipped the ball through to him.

Norwood was close to another on the stroke of half-time when he surged into the box and flashed an effort across goal but Ainley’s cracking finish and a super volley from Kirk, from Ainley’s cross, proved decisive despite Rovers substitute Paul Mullin reducing the arrears late on.

Artell added: “It was a terrific performance and 3-2 flattered Tranmere. They changed their shape in the first half to match our 4-4-2 because we were pulling them here, there and everywhere.

“We were the better team with the exception of the last 10 minutes when they threw caution to the wind – but in all I think they only had two shots on target in the whole game.”

While Bakayogo endured a torrid return to his former club, his defensive colleagues also came under the scrutiny of Tranmere boss Micky Mellon who said: “Having to score three goals to get a draw makes it very difficult for us.

“The bottom line is we gave away three goals and whether you are at home or away you can’t expect to pick up too many points doing that. For example, no-one picked up the guy (Ainley) at the back post which was a real hammer blow.

“At one point it was to-ing and fro-ing and you couldn’t say who was going to get the result. But the goals have changed the game and we have got to be more resilient.”


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