The rest of the season is for pride from our point of view and there’s no more pride at stake than during tomorrow’s derby match against Port Vale.
Having already suffered defeat to our Vale friends this season tomorrow could be the first time Vale complete the double over us in 13 years.
Vale are currently flirting with the play-offs but their chances of an actual top 7 finish look slim with inconsistency a major issue.
They come off the back of a 1-1 draw at Cheltenham last week but with a 5-0 thumping win against Chesterfield from the week before fresh in their memories it’s all a matter of which Vale will turn up tomorrow.
‘In my opinion we only have two possible derby games and playing Port Vale is one of them. As far as I am concerned it never felt like a derby when we played Wrexham.
‘For me, only when we faced a team from the Potteries does it feel like a real local rivalry. They are a few points ahead of us now, we were neck-and-neck at one stage but they have been on a better run of late.
‘We have not lost too many recently, but we have drawn too many games we should have won and that means we are not as close to the play-off places as Port Vale.’
‘Crewe are still in the play-off race and if you look at their away record, it tells you they can win games – we have to respect that,’ said the Vale manager
‘You’re talking about a Crewe side who think they’ve got a chance of getting into the play-offs, so it’s as hard as any game.
‘But I would say a win is vital to them – in fact, they’ve got to win.’
Port Vale Team News:
Vale’s new loan signing Lee Molyneux is not expected to feature after signing for Vale from Southampton at the last minute yesterday.
Midfielder Dave Howland and striker Geoff Horsefield are both ruled out.
The goalkeeping position remains up in the air after first choice Joe Anyon’s blooper last week asked questions over his selection. Back up Chris Martin could therefore be in line for a recall. *Insert Coldplay pun here*.
Player to watch: Marc Richards
Former Alex loanee is near the top of the scoring charts with an impressive 18 goals this season.
Crewe Alexandra Team News:
Injuries and suspensions seem to be building up at Gresty Road this week.
Ashley Westwood starts his three game suspension tomorrow after his sending off against Notts County last week. Carl Martin meanwhile serves the last game of his suspension.
Steve Schumacher is expected to come into the side alongside James Bailey, who seems to have recovered from his facial injury.
Matt Tootle is likely to come back into the side as loanee Chris Stokes is struggling with a hamstring strain.
Calvin Zola is also ruled out again with a ankle injury. Dario expects the striker back in full training from next week.
Byron Moore is still expected to be out for a further three or four weeks.
Possible line up: Phillips, Tootle, O’Donnell, Mitchel-King, Brayford, Murphy, Bailey, Schumacher, Grant, Donaldson, Miller.
Player to watch: James Bailey
Bails was a real driving force against Notts County till he was forced off through injury. Derby matches can be won in midfield so Bailey could prove vital if we’re to get three points.
A physical Vale side came out on top at Gresty Road.
Despite the Alex taking a 1-0 lead through Shaun Miller goals from Richards and Kris Taylor gave Vale what was a deserved win.
Christopher Sarginson takes the whistle tomorrow. Sarginson is currently in his second season as a Football League referee. He has taken charge of Crewe games twice in his career; during last season’s League Trophy 3-0 home win over Macclesfield where he sent a Macc player off early on. He was also the ref in January’s 1-1 draw at Hereford.
It’ll be the first time he’s refereed Port Vale.
Andy Hendley and Paul Marsden will act as his assistants.
Kevin Hayward is fourth official
Port Vale 0-2 Crewe
Next up is a trip to Morecambe on Good Friday. April 2nd.