Alex Morris: So important for Crewe to rediscover winning touch after relegation



Posted Sunday, July 31, 2022 by PA

Alex Morris: So important for Crewe to rediscover winning touch after relegation

Crewe manager Alex Morris said his side’s 2-1 victory against Rochdale at the Crown Oil Arena was vital in giving the club ‘lift off’ in League Two.

Relegated at the end of last season following a miserable campaign in League One, Morris said it was important the club rediscover what it means to win games.

Dan Agyei headed them in front after 14 minutes and Lachlan Brook put them firmly in the driving seat seven minutes later when he fired home the second from 20 yards.

Rochdale improved after the break and deservedly pulled one back after 69 minutes through Devante Rodney, but Crewe held on for the points.

“This club needs to learn to win again and we’ve done a lot of work in the summer trying to go a long way towards that in terms of the culture, the environment, the players that we’ve brought in who are used to winning at other clubs in this league,” said Morris.

“I didn’t want to over-emphasise it to the players before the game, so I didn’t – but it was so, so important for us to win that game, just so that we could have lift off and get back into that habit of knowing what it feels like to win a game of football.

“It’s a huge win. The first half was excellent, everything that we would have expected and the way we planned it. The second half will look different in the next few weeks if we’re 2-0 up away from home because this one became ragged.

“But winning is a habit and because the players were not used to it they almost lost their bearings. We just have to do what we did in the first half, stick to the plan, do the basics well.

“While we didn’t play particularly well in the second half they did show another string to their bow in digging in and putting bodies on the line.”

Rochdale manager Robbie Stockdale said: “We’re obviously disappointed to lose the game. We felt we’d started the game OK but it was almost like the first goal gave us a right wobble and the remainder of the first half wasn’t quite what we want and what we know we’re capable of.

“The first goal was well worked by them but I’d like us to be a bit smarter, we were too naive to it. The second one, unfortunately, was a deflection. That had our backs against the ropes, but we had two really good opportunities for James Ball to score.

“So we had a regroup at half-time and in the second half I thought we played well. We scored a deserved goal and I was hoping for a grandstand finish but Crewe managed the game pretty well from there.

“It’s disappointing but seasons are not made or broken on the first game.”

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