Top scorer Pogba close to a return for Crewe Alexandra

Crewe Guardian: Top scorer Pogba close to a return for The Alex Top scorer Pogba close to a return for The Alex

MATHIAS Pogba will make a long-awaited return in Crewe’s make-or-break festive fixtures.

The 23-year-old is set to hand boss Steve Davis a huge boost in his quest to steer the Alex out of the League One relegation zone.

Last season’s leading scorer with 16 goals, Pogba is back in training for the first time since injuring his knee during pre-season.

The striker could make the bench in Saturday’s trip to face Coventry with action likely as they look to kick off Christmas with victory over Shrewsbury seven days later.

Crewe’s lack of firepower has been key to their problems so far this season.

“Mathias is building up his fitness and confidence up now,” explained Davis.

“We’re gradually easing him in.

“Pogs has been out all season so we’ve got to be cautious, but he’s anxious to get back.

“We’re having to hold him back a little because he’s desperate to start playing.”

The fans’ favourite has also signed a contract extension which keeps him at Gresty Road until 2015.

“We had an extra year option and although he hasn’t played this season, we’ve taken the decision early,” continued Davis.

“It will be great to get him back and he will be important to us in the second half of the season.”

Ryan Colclough’s return may be delayed as he struggled with illness in the under 21’s 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest.

AJ Leitch-Smith and George Ray were on target as Davis contemplates his starting 11 to face Coventry.

Alan Martin is expected to get the nod over Ben Garratt with on-loan keeper Neil Etheridge back at Fulham to recover from a thigh injury.

“It’s a blow because he’d done well in the three games and looked a real presence for us,” added Davis.

“He’s very athletic and got a point to prove so we’re disappointed it finished as early as it did.

“But we’re still hoping to get him back before the loan finishes and we’ll review it in January.

“Steve Phillips has got a shoulder tear so we’ll make a decision between the other two.”

Davis is expecting a tough task with Coventry roaring up the league table despite playing at their temporary Sixfields home in Northampton.

“They have had a great start,” he said “Steve [Pressley] has them fighting and playing well.

“It can’t be easy losing the home support they had, so all credit to them.”

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