Crewe Alex: Tootle aiming high as Crewe target new play-off challenge
MATT Tootle is not content with just helping get Crewe into League One ... he is aiming even higher.
With the Alex a tantalising three points outside the play-off zone, the young defender is now eyeing successive promotions.
Tootle was a virtual ever-present last term when Crewe came from nowhere to win promotion from League Two via the play-offs.
And he has high hopes of repeating the feat this season with 20 games of the campaign still to go.
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He said: I don't think any one of the lads is happy with just playing in League One.
"You see teams going on to the Premier League from League One.
"I'm not saying we could do that, but we are certainly capable of going up again."
Crewe boss Steve Davis has encouraged his side to aim high since he took over as manager from Dario Gradi a year last November.
Tootle believes that was key to their play-off final victory at Wembley last May and Crewe's subsequent success in League One.
"Steve is ambitious, but we are too and that's why it works," he explained.
"Every week Steve and the lads agree there is no-one better than us in the league.
"Every team we have played we've felt we have had a chance against, and that's why we're in the top half of the table."
A win over Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road on Saturday could thrust Crewe right into the play-off mix.
They would have been there already but for last week's 2-1 home defeat by Stevenage, their first home loss since October, and Tootle is confident they can avoid another setback to stay in the mix.
"We have shown we can bounce back from poor results – it is a big part of our game and one of the reasons we came up last year.
"Orient are a good side, with plenty of experienced old heads in their team.
"They have also been on a great run (six wins in their last eight games), so it will be a tough game, but hopefully we can get something from it."
The 22-year-old full-back has been utilised on both the right and left this season ... and even popped up with a goal when Orient drew 1-1 at Gresty Road back in September.
He added: "I enjoy it at left-back. I know there was a time when I didn't, but I have got to grips with it now.
"I just want to play every week."