'Positives' to take into game against Ipswich.... says new Crewe boss

A general view of Gresty Road, Crewe.

Gresty Road, home of Crewe Alexandra - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town travel to Crewe Alexandra this weekend for their final away League One clash of the season. MIKE BACON takes a look at Town's opponents.

Crewe Alexandra's Scott Robertson reacts after Rotherham United's Joshua Kayode (not pictured) score

Relegated. It's been a tough season for Crewe. - Credit: PA

The story so far

It's been a tough gig for Crewe Alexandra this season.

Starting as one of the unfancied sides in League One, their poor form has seen them already relegated back to League Two from where they came two seasons ago.

Indeed, the last decade has seen the Gresty Road club bob backwards and forwards between Leagues One and Two.

This season saw them win just one of their first 17 League One games, although there were a fair smattering of draws among those matches.

But the writing was on the wall as early as the New Year. Although the Railwaymen won three games at the back end of 2021, they were only set to win three more from January until now.

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Crewe are bottom of the table and six points adrift of second-placed Doncaster. They parted company with boss David Artell two weeks ago.

Alex Morris and Lee Bell have been appointed First Team Manager and Assistant Manager respectively, on an interim basis.

New man Alex at Alex

As a player, current interim boss at Gresty Road, Alex Morris came through the Crewe Academy at the same time as the likes of David Vaughan, Lee Bell and Dean Ashton but a succession of injuries hampered his progress.

He was named in the 2006 first team squad by Dario Gradi but was never able to make a first-team appearance for the club.

He had to retire early from the game and he became focussed on his coaching badges.

Morris said the 'overriding feeling' around the club about former boss David Artell's departure was 'sadness', but he now hopes to strengthen his claims to keep the job beyond the end of the campaign.

"I'd love to take the job long-term. I've been at this club for a long, long time and I believe I have the credentials," he added.

Crewe were beaten at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night, having won at home against AFC Wimbledon on Good Friday - just their seventh win of the campaign.

"That has to be a motivation going into next season and there were positives we can take into Saturday against Ipswich," Morris said after the two Easter clashes.

"I will never accept a defeat, never but there were plenty of things to be pleased with.”

Bersant Celina chips in the ball to take Town into a 2-0 lead.

Bersant Celina's outrageous chipped finish against Crewe has won the League One Goal of the Month award for November. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

The last time

An incredible lob by Bersant Celina and an own goal from Luke Offord condemned then League One basement club Crewe to defeat at Ipswich back in November, leaving the Alex firmly rooted at the bottom of the league.

The visitors replied through former Everton youth striker Chris Long but Town held on for a narrow victory as they returned to winning ways after a four-match league winless run.

Crewe got off to the worst possible start when a great piece of dribbling from Sone Aluko across the byline resulted in his shot hitting Offord and ending up in the back of the net just three minutes in.

Then Celina produced an outrageous high looping shot from 25 yards out to put the home side further in front in first-half stoppage-time.

The Railwaymen pulled a goal back after 73 minutes when Long diverted home a shot from Mikael Mandron.

Head to head

Town and Crewe have met 19 times, 16 times in the league and three in the League Cup.

Ipswich have the better record, having won 12 of the matches between the two sides.

Indeed the last time Crewe beat Town was back in 2003, at Gresty Road, when the Railwaymen won 1-0 in a Division One clash.

A year later there was a 10-goal thriller at Portman Road, again in a First Division clash, with Ipswich winning 6-4. Two of the Crewe goals were own goals, by Town's John McGreal and Matt Richards.

What the bookies say

It's hardly surprising Crewe are such long odds to win, even at home. However, they did win their last League One game at Gresty Road, but would you really back any result other than a Town win?

TOWN WIN: 8/15: CREWE WIN: 5/1: THE DRAW: 29/10

Did you know?

Crewe's fans were apparently the first to sing the song, 'Blue Moon', now also sung by fans of Manchester City. It was said to be a response to the gloomy days of the 1950s and 1960s. While some wags felt it was only sung to reflect the fact that Crewe only used to win 'once in a blue moon'. Ouch!