‘We played them off the park... If it was a boxing match it would have been stopped’ – Crewe boss Artell on 1-0 loss at Ipswich

Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell looks on.
Picture: Steve Waller

Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell looks on. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell bemoaned his team’s inability to turn their good play into goals during yesterday’s 1-0 loss at Ipswich Town.

Last season’s League Two runners-up bossed the first period, but saw both Luke Offord and Tom Lowery denied by point-blank Tomas Holy saves.

Oli Hawkins headed Ipswich in front after 62 minutes following a short corner routine, then Town were left clinging on for three points at the death with Blues boss Paul Lambert admitting afterwards that his team ‘rode their luck’.

“It was a terrific performance, an outstanding performance at times,” said a frustrated Artell. “But if you don’t put the ball in the net it can sometimes end up as a cruel afternoon – and that’s what it was.

“It’s our first season back in League One for a while, we’re at a big stadium, against a massive club, experienced manager and we’ve played them off the park. We have. But if you don’t put the ball in the net... That’s the name of the game.

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“That’s football isn’t it? You sometimes win games when you don’t deserve to win. Today we’ve lost a game we didn’t deserve to lose.

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“If it was a boxing match it would have been stopped. They’d have had a standing count after 20 minutes and another standing count after 40 minutes, then I think it would have been stopped about 15 minutes into the second half.

“But it’s not (a boxing match), it’s a game of football and it’s about scoring goals. As much as I can wax lyrical about how good a performance it was, we didn’t score.”

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He continued: “Listen, we were flat and off it on Tuesday (losing 1-0 at home to Lincoln) having played well at Doncaster before that (winning 2-1 away). We can’t have one off, one on.

“I’ve not seen anything there from my team where I’m thinking ‘wow, that’s unbelievable’. We’re capable of playing like that every game and we’ve got to produce it every game, If we do then we’ll win more games than we lose. But we’ve got to make sure we score goals.”

MORE: Ratings: How the Ipswich Town players performed in their 1-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra

He added: “You’ve got to remember that Ipswich haven’t conceded a goal at home all season, so they are no push overs. This is a huge club in this division and they are going to be there or there abouts at the end of the season. We take great heart from the fact we’ve been able to do everything but score.

“On another day had we won that three or four nil then I don’t think anybody would have complained.”

With Crewe hosting Gillingham on Tuesday, Artell said: “We lick our wounds and go again. If anyone comes in on Monday morning with their tails between their legs and their lip on the floor then I’ll stand on their lip and poke them in the eye. They’ll soon pick it up.”

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