Crewe Alex: Emotional Steve Davis hails heroes
MANAGER Steve Davis saluted his Wembley wonders after Crewe Alexandra beat Cheltenham Town 2-0 in yesterday's League Two play-off final at Wembley.
Highly-rated youngster Nick Powell set the ball rolling with a stunning 15th-minute volley, before the Alex were forced to weather the storm.
Cheltenham hit the crossbar and had two efforts cleared off the line, but Byron Moore sent 13,000 Crewe fans into dreamland with the killer second eight minutes from time to end their three-year League One absence.
"I am a proud man and it was very emotional celebrating with all the supporters at the end," said Davis, whose side stretched their unbeaten run to 19 games.
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"It was something we will never forget and I am pleased for everyone associated with the club – the staff, supporters and, most of all, the players.
"They have put the work in and when they cross the white line it is down to them.
"They followed the instructions really well because Cheltenham are a really good side. They are powerful and put us under a lot of pressure.
"We deserved to win the game, though, and the players deserve great credit.
"I stayed out of the way in the dressing room for a bit because they deserved it. They were exceptional and it was a great day for the club."
Davis now has the task of shaping his squad for the third tier of English football.
And he accepts Crewe may start the new season without striker Powell, who has been linked with a £4m move to Manchester United.
"I think Nick can get to the Premier League," said Davis.
"I know there's been a few bits about Manchester United in the papers, but we've not had any solid offers yet.
"We will probably see something develop on that. Nick is a huge talent, who produces big things on special occasions.
"The club has been kept moving by loans from the directors, so when we get a special player like Nick we can pay those off. The money from the play-offs won't do that.
Davis is due to meet his out-of-contract stars today, including goalkeeper Steve Phillips, defender Dave Artell and midfielder Danny Shelley.
"I'm going to enjoy this, then I'll look at what happens in the summer as far as this group of players goes," he said.
"We will obviously try to improve the squad we have.
"Finances won't allow us to buy players who have played in the Championship and top of League One, but we'll try to add two or three quality players."
Goalscorer Moore, who was watched by a large family contingent from Meir, revelled in his moment in the spotlight.
He said: "It's the best moment of my career at Crewe.
"I thought I was okay, not my best, but it was a thrill to score.
"We let them back into the game a bit, but we defended really well.
"I'll think about what I'm going to do about my future, but I'd certainly be happy to stay if I was offered something."