Crewe Alex: Davis salutes Phillips' influence
STEVE Davis believes Steve Phillips' tough regime on the training ground is already starting to bear fruit for Crewe.
The Alex didn't have a goalkeeping coach for a sustained period under Dario Gradi, but Davis thinks the unique position should be treated on its merits.
He handed Phillips, pictured, a coaching role to tie into his playing responsibilities when he awarded the 34-year-old a new two-year deal last summer.
And he says Phillips, who had previously coached juniors for Crewe and Liverpool, is proving to be a fine mentor for Alan Martin and Ben Garratt.
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"Steve's very good, very impressive. He's very demanding," said manager Davis.
"A goalkeeping coach is important. It's a specialised position and they need different drills.
"The three of them go out before everyone else to work through routines and work very hard before they join in with the rest of the group.
"It has helped Ben to be involved with the seniors. He's only played youth football before this season and the shots he's facing every day now are a lot harder for a start.
"I think it's helped Alan progress as well and hopefully they will keep getting better."
Garratt, from Market Drayton, has this week been rewarded for his development with a new two-year contract.
The 18-year-old is now challenging Martin and Phillips to be handed his first-team debut.
He said: "I'm delighted to sign. Steve Davis called me into his office and I had no hesitation.
"Working with Steve Phillips and being involved with the first team has been great for me. I feel I've come on a lot."
CREWE have unveiled a new one-off third kit to wear to avoid a clash with Bournemouth's black and red stripes tomorrow.
They will wear a white shirt, with white shorts and socks.