Crewe Alexandra: Steve Davis sees reinforcements as injury strikes down Abdul Osman again
CREWE boss Steve Davis is hoping to bring in a central midfielder ... and could even seal the deal in time for Saturday's home game with Yeovil.
Davis has been left with a major problem in midfield after Abdul Osman limped out of Tuesday's win over Swindon Town with a reoccurrence of an ankle injury.
Crewe are waiting to learn the extent of the injury, but Osman is expected to miss the Yeovil game.
That's left the Alex short of numbers because on-loan midfielder Andy Bond is also expected to miss the Yeovil match with a groin strain.
Academy graduate Ollie Turton replaced Osman to help Crewe to a battling 2-1 win at Gresty Road on Tuesday.
But Davis believes it's time to strengthen in the middle.
Crewe assistant manager Neil Baker said a new midfielder could arrive this week.
"We realise we are thin on the ground there and we are trying to make a signing in that department," he said.
Baker admits Crewe are still trying to solve the problem caused by captain Ashley Westwood's £2m move to Aston Villa on August 31 deadline day.
He says replacing the 22-year-old play-maker's quality was always going to be difficult, especially as it has put extra demands on Westwood's former midfield partner Luke Murphy.
Baker added: "We have missed Ashley Westwood, there's no doubt about that. He controlled games, even at this level.
"Luke Murphy is doing well and has other assets to his game. We want him to be the midfielder that controls the tempo of the game and he is working towards that."
Crewe's efforts to move on without Westwood have been hampered by injuries.
Osman first damaged ankle ligaments in their game with Leyton Orient on September 22.
He made his comeback in the 2-2 draw at Walsall on Saturday, but suffered a recurrence of the injury in the first half against Swindon.
Meanwhile, Colchester midfielder Bond's loan spell runs out after Saturday's game.
Whether or not they have a new midfielder in place, Crewe will go into the Yeovil game full of confidence after their efforts this week.
Baker was delighted by the way they came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Walsall, and then beat Swindon 2-1 at Gresty Road after surviving constant second-half pressure from Paolo Di Canio's side.
Baker said: "Our battling qualities have been evident in the last couple of games.
"We aren't playing the flowing football that is normally associated with us and we hadn't been defending as well as we can.
"But we showed something by coming from behind at Walsall, and then the players defended really well in the second half against Swindon.
"We get every bit as much pleasure from that as from playing great football to win.
"Everyone wants to play great football, but there is nothing wrong in showing those other qualities too when required."