Crewe Alex: Pace holds key to Trophy success, says manager Steve Davis
STEVE Davis has told his counter-attacking pace men to fire Crewe into their first major cup final.
The Alex have scored in every game they have played since early December and the manager knows how valuable it could prove to keep that record going tonight.
They hold a 3-0 lead against Coventry City in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, so the Sky Blues will have to come out and attack at Gresty Road (7.30pm).
And Davis said: "We've got to get the balance right between not just sitting back to defend our lead and not pushing too far forward to leave spaces to exploit.
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"We do have pace up front and people who can counter attack well and quickly.
"We have scored a goal in each of our last 14 games and if we get the first this evening that could kill the game."
The manager, who reached the final of the same competition as a defender for Burnley back in 1988, is expecting Coventry to throw the kitchen sink at Crewe in the second-leg tie.
He has called for every man to stand his ground as the Railwaymen hunt their first ever Wembley cup final and first trophy in English professional football.
"Coventry have nothing to lose. They can leave it two v two at the back and have a real go at us," he said.
"We know what's going to come, so we'll have to set up accordingly to stifle them. We've got defend well from the front.
"If anything is letting us down at the moment, and I've analysed what we're doing, we aren't defending well enough high up, particularly the wider players against the full-backs."
Defenders Matt Tootle (toe) and Harry Davis (toe) are both in contention to return to the line-up, as Steve Davis must decide whether to go with three centre-halves or a flat back four.
The game will go straight to penalties if Coventry can claw their way back to level terms on aggregate after 90 minutes.
No extra-time will be played and away goals do not count double.
A collection bucket will be passed around Gresty Road asking supporters to contribute to the Caudwell Children's Charity and Leukaemia Research; two causes keeper Steve Phillips is fund raising for ahead of a Paris to London cycle ride in June.