Crewe Alexandra: Davis searching for set-piece solution
STEVE Davis is hoping to unearth a dead ball specialist from within his own ranks as he tries to squeeze more out of Crewe's tight games.
The Alex manager lost tried and trusted corner taker Ashley Westwood to Aston Villa at the end of August, then saw his successor, Harry Bunn, have his season all-but-ended by a knee cruciate ligament injury last weekend.
With only one goal scored in total during Crewe's previous two games, Davis has underlined the importance of getting it right at set-pieces at both ends of the pitch. "When it's tight, we know that set-pieces can win or lose you games so we have to keep practising in attack and defence," said Davis, who spent yesterday trying out routines ready for today's trip to Stevenage (3pm).
"We have to make the most of corners and free-kicks in and around the box. Lads are running into the right areas so it's about the quality of delivery. That's what's really important.
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"If you can get the ball in the right place I don't think it matters if it is inswinging or outswinging, you are going to cause problems."
Davis is expected to hand a full debut to on-loan Arsenal forward Chuks Aneke this afternoon, but has said he wants to see more of Aneke getting on to the end of set-pieces rather than taking any.
Matt Tootle is also vying for a start wide in midfield, while Brendan Daniels has an extra trick up his sleeve to give his boss food for thought.
Davis explained: "I know Brendan Daniels has a great delivery from a dead ball. He can score from free-kicks and I thought he might late on against Tranmere last Saturday.
"He does it in training and I've told him that can be a headline maker. If he keeps practising hopefully we'll see the next one fly in."