Davis: Players need to be strong if Crewe are to bounce back
STEVE Davis is determined to destroy the complacent attitude he blames for Crewe's first back-to-back league losses under his leadership.
In the whole of the English Football League, only top-flight champions Manchester City had gone longer without falling to two league defeats on the trot than the Alex ... until Tuesday.
It was a run stretching from November 5 last year and a 3-0 reverse against Torquay which led to then-assistant Davis being promoted to the manager's post.
"That kind of consistency is a good thing and if we can go another 11 months I will be more than happy," said Davis.
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"It was going to happen sooner or later and now we have to come back from that. I haven't had a chance to see how they react to that yet. They have to be strong.
"There are one or two who are looking a bit affected in terms of confidence and we will do our best to pull them back up, but in a lot of ways they have to help themselves."
Sooner or later it might have been, but Davis thinks the 2-0 slip-up at Gresty Road to Oldham should have been avoided.
Now he is eager to get back on the winning track against Hartlepool this afternoon – and he has been making sure all his players are prepared in every respect.
Davis said: "We've got to improve. We had a talk after the game on Tuesday and worked hard in training so they know what they've got to do.
"I just think from a mental point of view we didn't approach it in a right way. Maybe they took their foot of the gas.
"We were off the pace at the start of the game, we got caught out by the tempo and from that moment it's difficult to pull it around.
"We had a hard game at MK Dons and perhaps they thought they wouldn't have to do as much at home against Oldham. You can't get away with that attitude.
"There are no easy games in this league and the teams at the top could quite easily get beaten by teams down at the bottom."
Davis's recent line-ups have been dictated by injuries and suspensions, but the manager knows he must get the most out of whoever he has at his disposal.
He said: "We have got to realise that we have to be close to our very best in every game in this division. We cannot afford to carry any players.
"Maybe last season if two or three players were having off-days you could get away with it and still get a result, but this year we need everyone to shine.
"On Tuesday only the goalkeeper, two centre-halves and Luke Murphy were near their best and that is not good enough."
Crewe's last game against Hartlepool, a 5-0 win in the Capital One Cup first round in August, was the last game of another noteworthy run, a club record 20 games unbeaten.
Davis is confident another healthy spell is just one big confidence-boost around the corner.
He said: "Anyone is capable of putting a run together in this division. If you get a win and a bit of confidence it can set you up nicely and hopefully we can do that.
"We had a little mini-run of our own when we drew four after beating Coventry and we are not far away from being a decent team.
"But if we put in displays like we did on Tuesday, it's a whole different story."