Crewe Alexandra: Flying start can help us to sink Swindon, urges Mathias Pogba
MATHIAS Pogba is calling on Crewe to set their alarms for a wake-up call ahead of tonight's visit of Paulo di Canio's Swindon Town.
The 22-year-old crowd favourite is concerned by several poor starts which have cost Crewe so dearly this season.
Pogba, fresh from setting up Saturday's late equaliser at Walsall, said: "In the last four games we started like we were not on the pitch.
"We have to start a lot better if we are to win games, and we need to win some games.
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"In the dressing room, we think about it every minute, but I cannot explain what is going on.
"In the first 30 minutes we are dead, nobody is awake. But we have to start better and I hope the lads understand this."
Pogba can at least console himself with Saturday's vital assist and the fact he is fully recovered from knee trouble earlier in the season.
"I am feeling a lot better now," he explained, "because I am playing some games and getting fitter. And when you play well your confidence comes back."
And Pogba, whose younger brother Paul scored for Juventus at the weekend, must be full of confidence after teeing up Chuks Aneke's late leveller at Walsall three days ago.
"If I did good for the team, then I feel good for the team," he said modestly.
"I was very, very proud of the Crewe fans because they support the team all through the game. Hopefully, we can win and celebrate a victory all together."
Di Canio's Swindon arrive in south Cheshire in mixed form after a run of just two wins from their last five games.
Not that Pogba knows that, declaring: "I don't know di Canio and I don't know Swindon, but it doesn't really matter. It is about our team."
Thankfully, Crewe boss Steve Davis has done a little more homework on tonight's opposition, and concludes: "They are one of the quality teams in the league and a challenge for us.
"Paolo's got a budget and obviously targeted several players in the summer and got them – and the wages wouldn't have been a problem to bring them in.
"There's still a gap between us and them, but over time you hope to bridge that gap."
Davis, pictured below, also wants to see more clean sheets from his team, observing: "We've kept a few this season, but not enough.
"There's a few little individual things and some basics we need to get right to correct that.
"We've got to try to nullify the opposition threat right from the front of the team and not just rely on the back five to keep the ball out of the net."
Meanwhile, Davis met his solicitor yesterday to keep the ball rolling on his contract talks.
And he is continuing to play down any talk of him being poached for the managerial vacancy at Championship club Burnley.
"The Burnley thing," he stated, "I don't really take much notice of.
"Some people have been making me aware of it, joking about the odds coming down.
"We've had some success, which doesn't go unnoticed by chairman, but obviously I can't control the speculation.
"It is flattering in a way, but I'm employed here and enjoy my job here. I'm only focussed on what I'm doing at the moment."