Date: 2nd August 2007 at 3:58am
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After last night’s 2-0 win over Derby County, Dario Gradi said that the improved defence is mostly down to Steve Holland (pictured).

The 38 year old coach has been working hard since his promotion to ‘First Team Coach’ this summer, and improving the defence his main priority. Having conceded 244 goals in just the last three seasons: a strong defence is an absolute must next season.

The Alex have so far kept 3 clean sheets in their 5 pre-season friendlies having brought in Danny O’Donnell, Chris McCready and Billy Jones this season.

Technical Director Dario Gradi puts this improvement down to Steve Holland; he told CreweAlex.net: ‘We are better prepared now defensively from front to the back and a lot of credit must go to Steve (Holland) for the work he has done with the back four and those in front of them.

‘We shipped goals left right and centre last season and and we don’t look like we are going to do that at the moment.’

Dario admits though that a problem still needs to be solved at the opposite end of the pitch. Luke Varney’s departure has left a big hole in the strike force and the summer long search for a new striker continues.

Dario said: ‘We still feel that Nicky needs someone up there with him, who can offer something different. We did look better when we had another runner or two in the second half and I wasd delighted with the two goals we scored.’

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