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Steve Davis lays down survival gauntlet for Crewe Alexandra
STEVE Davis has challenged his players to prove they deserve to stay in League One.
The boss wants big points over a key festive spell that could make or break their season.
Davis believes Crewe are a better side than Shrewbury (Saturday), Colchester (Dec 29) and Carlisle (Jan 1).
And he’s also targeting a Boxing Day upset at promotion-chasing Wolves to boost their chances of beating the drop.
“I think some teams will drop out of that mid-table,” he explained.
“The likes of Carlisle, Shrewsbury, Crawley, Tranmere and Colchester are all still vulnerable.
“I think we’re a better side than them but we have to prove it by beating them and improving our position.
“We’ll beat the bigger sides too and there is no reason we can’t go to Wolves and win.
“But those other games are more important.”
Victory at home to Graham Turner’s Shrewsbury could be the catalyst for a happy Christmas.
The visitors have been inconsistent, winning just once on the road, as they stand 15th and five points clear of Crewe.
“I don’t like saying ‘six-pointer’ but maybe that’s what this game is,” added Davis.
“It’s a big game for both clubs.
“We could go just two points behind them while eight would be a huge difference.
“I feel more confident and we feel better about ourselves.
“It’s time for us to work harder than ever and the itinerary we have given the players reflects that.
“They won’t be getting much time off, that’s for sure.”
Ben Garratt should retain his place between the sticks despite conceding a rash penalty in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Coventry.
Striker Vadaine Oliver will be back from suspension although both Ryan Colclough and Mathias Pogba look set to miss out.
“Vadaine has improved since he arrived,” continued Davis.
“He’s still got to add goals to his game.
“He scored a number of goals with his head at Lincoln and he hasn’t managed to do that since he came here.
“But that might down to us not providing the crosses for him.
“Vadaine always gives 100 percent and the fans appreciate that.”
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