Crewe Alexandra: Steve Davis’ side out to maintain their record as comeback kings
Crewe have made recovering from a defeat their speciality in recent times, and will be hoping to continue that trend today...
IT was not so long ago that terraces up and down the country were spattered by fans wearing T-shirts with “Bouncebackability” written on the front.
The phrase had been coined by unlikely trend-setter Iain Dowie, then manager at Crystal Palace, and all of a sudden quick sporting recoveries were cool.
Not these days, it would seem.
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Crewe have lost back-to-back league games just once since Steve Davis took over as boss in November 2011 – a record only bettered by Manchester City over the same period in the English professional game.
Before this week, the Alex had lost on 15 occasions in the league under Davis – and won 11 and drawn three of their follow-up matches.
The comeback kids will aim to live up to their reputation this afternoon against Portsmouth, having succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at Hartlepool on Tuesday.
And Davis believes it is slowly becoming ingrained in his young players’ DNA that swift returns to form are urgent after any setback.
He said: “The players will be eager to put it right. They will be hurting after Tuesday night, having picked up a couple of good results against Coventry City.
“It was our third game in six days against Hartlepool and maybe it was one too many, although I wouldn’t use that as an excuse.
“The manner of the performance and manner of the defeat was disappointing. We didn’t work hard enough and made too many bad decisions.
“We want to win every game. That isn’t always possible. When you do get a defeat it’s important you bounce back and try to get a victory again.
“We haven’t lost any confidence from Tuesday night and that’s perhaps the biggest thing.
“We have good home form and hopefully now we can get straight back on track.”
It was at the turn of October and November when Crewe did fall to successive league defeats, away at MK Dons and at home against Oldham Athletic.
However, “the bounce” has been evident for the rest of the season.
Crewe have won seven and drawn three of the matches immediately after each of their 11 losses this campaign, prior to Tuesday night.
They won all five of the games following defeats with Davis, pictured, in charge last season – including a victory at Morecambe straight after he replaced Dario Gradi, whose last game in charge was a 3-0 home defeat to Torquay.
It is only unfortunate then, that it takes a defeat in the first place to have the opportunity to put in a recovery performance.
Still, continuing the tradition today could launch the Railwaymen to within eight points of the play-offs with a further 12 games remaining.
A Wembley trip looms large on the horizon in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, but Davis is not putting all his eggs in one basket just yet.
He said: “We are not going to rule out a push for the play-offs just because we lost on Tuesday.
“Clubs will slip up and teams currently sitting above us in the table will lose games.
“While it is still possible we will keep fighting and try to win as many games as we can until the end of the season.”