STEVE Davis insists funds from Mathias Pogba’s shock sale will be used to strengthen his depleted squad.

Alarm bells are already starting to ring with the big kick-off at Fleetwood just over a week away.

The 23-year-old’s decision to join Italian club Pescara leaves Crewe with only two strikers in Vadaine Oliver and Callum Saunders - both relatively raw.

It’s a real problem for Davis as he looks to avoid another season-long struggle in League One.

“This is an opportunity he wanted to take and you can’t hold on to him,” explained the Alex boss.

“It does free up some money.

“We’ve made a decent profit on him and we need to strengthen now.”

With Pogba in the final year of his contract and determined to leave, Davis says he had no option.

“You end up with an unhappy player and that is no good to anyone,” he added.

“We’ll have a board meeting to see what we can do with the money because we need to bring in a better player than the one we have lost.

Talks have begun with Sunderland to determine a suitable fee for contract rebel Max Clayton.

The 19-year-old is now four weeks into an extended trial at the Premier League club.

“It’s difficult for me to talk about at the moment because I’m not too sure of the situation,” continued Davis.

“It has been left in the hands of John Bowler and everyone else at the club from an administration point of view.

‘As far as I know they are still negotiating with Sunderland and that is as much as I can say.”

Fresh from a last-ditch defeat (1-0) at home to Championship outfit Wolves, Crewe returned to winning ways at Southport.

Ollie Turton and Billy Waters grabbed the goals in a 2-1 victory with recalled Lee Molyneux involved in both.

“I thought it was a decent game and I was pleased with the way we played, especially the first-half,” said Davis.

“Some of our play was bright and inventive and we got in behind on a number of occasions due to our passing and movement.

“Perhaps getting those two relatively early goals changed the mindset a bit because we didn’t sustain that in the second-half.

“Credit to Southport because they threw everything at us and we tired a bit towards the end.

“They kept pumping the ball into our box so it was a really good test from that perspective.”

Summer signing Chris Atkinson missed out with a hamstring problem but should be fit for Fleetwood.

“It isn't too serious and we’re hopeful he’ll be fine for the opening game," concluded Davis.