Crewe Alexandra: Davis hopes he'll not regret missing out on Jake Cassidy
CREWE boss Steve Davis has revealed he tried to sign Tranmere's on-loan Wolves striker Jake Cassidy.
The 19-year-old smashed a hat-trick in Rovers' 4-0 win at home to Colchester on Saturday which sent Ronnie Moore's side to the top of League One.
Davis wanted Cassidy last season, but lost out when the striker moved to Prenton Park in January.
The Wales under-21 international showed why there was a scramble for his services by netting five goals in 10 games to help Rovers finish 12th.
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The 6ft 2in hit man, who hails from Conwy, has rejoined Tranmere on a six-month loan and will pose a major threat to Crewe's hopes of back-to-back home wins following last week's 1-0 victory over Coventry.
Cassidy hadn't scored this season before the Colchester game, but Davis was never in doubt about the youngster's ability.
The Crewe boss said: "We did try to get him in last season, but he went to Tranmere and did very well.
"He is a goalscorer and a powerful lad who is hungry for success.
"He's had a good start to the season along with the rest of the team and is a major threat.
"Tranmere have had a great start so we envisage a really tough game.
"They are absolutely firing at the moment. They are scoring goals and not letting many in, so their confidence will be very high."
Davis watched Rovers at Vale Park on Tuesday when they went out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy with a 2-0 defeat.
However, Moore made four changes so Crewe will face a tougher test against a full-strength Tranmere side tomorrow.
Tranmere are unbeaten in the league, in fact the only points they have dropped were in a 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury when Dario Gradi was on a scouting mission for the Alex.
They are playing more attractive football than under former boss Les Parry, who was replaced by Moore in March.
Moore, who is in his third spell with Rovers, was determined to inject more pace into the side this season.
He's come up trumps by bringing in French striker John-Louis Akpa Akpro, who rejected a new deal at Rochdale to join Rovers on a free transfer.
Moore also raided Rochdale to sign nippy winger Joe Thompson and has signed former Port Vale wide man Abdulai Bell-Baggie.
His most important deal however, could well be the capture of midfielder James Wallace.
The 20-year-old had a successful loan spell from Everton last season and made that deal permanent this summer.
He has been given the captaincy and will be a huge threat in midfield against a Crewe side who are still readjusting following skipper Ashley Westwood's £2m move to Aston Villa.
Rovers boss Moore is full of admiration for the Crewe model of developing young players and selling them on for a profit.
He expects a difficult game tomorrow, even though Crewe have lost Powell and Westwood, potentially for a combined £7m from the team which won promotion.
Moore said: "This is going to be a difficult one. Crewe are a good, attacking football team. They are renowned for it.
"Also, their record for bringing young kids through is unbelievable.
"They keep producing players who play for the club and make money for the club – and they still get promotion.
"I think Steve Davis has done a fantastic job there. He knows the club inside out.
"Knowing the way he is, they will want to follow promotion by going up again.
"We have to be sure we are at our best in closing them down and don't allow them too much space. When we get the ball, we are not too bad at passing it ourselves now."