Crewe Alexandra: Ollie Turton looks to put into practice his learning experience
OLLIE Turton hopes to win a place in the middle of the park by taking the best of both players who currently form Crewe's central midfield.
The 20-year-old youth graduate, from Manchester, has been slowly forging a place in the Alex first-team squad over the past year, making two league starts so far.
He would have had more game time were it not for a thigh strain picked up in December, but he has not been wasting his time on the sidelines.
The youngster has been studying captain Luke Murphy and his sidekick Abdul Osman as he tries to see what of their attributes he can add to his own game.
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"They have been two of our best players this season, so I have got no complaints that I haven't started more games," he said.
"I've been watching them and trying to learn. I think I can do a bit of what they both offer.
"Luke is more attacking, making and scoring goals, and I think I can do that side of the game.
"But perhaps it's Abdul I'm more like and that's the kind of player I will become in the long run. He's great at winning the ball back and starting moves off.
"All the boys are there to help you develop and I know I've got to keep progressing to try to win a place in the first team."
Turton replaced Murphy (groin) for the second half of Tuesday's 2-1 win over MK Dons and hopes to have caught manager Steve Davis's eye.
The skipper is rated 50/50 to make the trip to Crawley Town tomorrow (3pm).
"I was injured after the Preston game, when I played at right wing-back, which was a bit of a disappointment, but I'm fit and back in the squad now," added Turton.
"When I've played we've picked up two good results and hopefully the manager can trust me when and wherever I'm needed."
Winger Byron Moore (dead-leg) and Max Clayton (England under-19s duty) should come back into the fold this weekend.
However, top scorer Mathias Pogba is missing as he prepares to make his competitive international debut in a World Cup qualifier for Guinea in Mozambique on Sunday.
Assistant manager Neil Baker admitted Crewe's resources would be tested to the full over the run-in, but he was pleased with the stamina shown last time out.
He said: "We are a little bit battered and bruised because of the continuous pounding they are having twice a week. It's a testing time of the season physically.
"They've played a lot games and it's beginning to tell at a lot of clubs, not just Crewe.
"The MK Dons game could have gone either way. They had too many chances, but our finish to the game was terrific. We've played a lot of games, but still finished strong."
Crawley are without right-back Mustapha Dumbuya and centre-back Joe Walsh, who are on international duty with Sierra Leone and Wales under-21s respectively.
However, striker Aiden O'Brien has been given dispensation by the Irish FA to play before meeting up with his Republic of Ireland under-21 team-mates.
He will line up for a side who have not lost in five, but have drawn their last four and sit 14th in League One, one point and one place below Alex.
Baker said: "Crawley are going well at the moment and our guy who watched them last weekend said they were better than Walsall, which makes them a very good side.
"They've changed their team around with some loan players and they will be lively."