Dave Artell praises Crewe’s ‘proper away victory’ over lowly Oxford18 November 2020
Crewe boss Dave Artell hailed his team's 2-0 Sky Bet League One success at Oxford as "a proper away victory". Goals from Mikael Mandron, in the 28th minute, and substitute Owen Dale in second-half stoppage time made it back-to-back wins for Alex after they defeated league leaders Peterborough last weekend. Artell said: "I thought we were just about the better side in the first half. When we kept the ball in our attacking third, we looked dangerous. "It was a hard-fought 2-0 win, but we were the better team over the 90 minutes. It was a proper away victory. "Our performances have been there for some time. We have been slowly building, we have progressed and evolved and we are now seeing the fruits of three months' hard work. "You have to remember Oxford were play-off finalists three months ago. They're a good side who are in a false position, I believe. "But just as with Peterborough, it's only three points – no bigger prize than that. "We couldn't quite find a second goal but we dug in there and got one right at the end. "Another clean sheet is obviously very nice but the most important thing, other than no goals against, is that we again haven't looked vulnerable. "The lads deserve the clean sheet and that's all of them, not just the back four and the keeper. Every single player in the whole team have worked their socks off. "And for all Oxford's play in the second half, they didn't really create anything." "All in all it's a really pleasing hard night's work and a pleasing result."
Oxford, last season's play-off finalists, remain in the bottom four and sit a point from safety. Manager Karl Robinson said the calmness with which he addressed his players in the dressing room after the game showed how much he was seething inside. Robinson, who normally wears his emotions on his sleeve, said: "In the first half we got overrun in midfield and we didn't hold the ball up at the end of the pitch. "That puts enormous pressure on our defence. "Their first goal was a little bit unfortunate from our point of view – but we were appalling in the first half. "Yes, there was a small reaction in the second half but no end product. "I'm seeing midfielders going backwards. It was not acceptable…everything about it, we were so off it. "My message to the players afterwards was very calm and calculated, not one of ranting and raving and I hope that sinks in more with them. "It's a long season but this can't continue. I don't think there's enough desire or pride in playing for the football club. "People will obviously question me, and I accept that. I take responsibility too. "We got run all over in midfield and our wide players contributed absolutely nothing. "I felt the opposition played with a personality and an identity. We didn't. We didn't have one out there."