CREWE Alexandra boss Dave Artell praised his squad’s spirit after back-to-back home victories helped to ease fears of relegation.
A late James Jones penalty gave them a 2-1 victory over play-off chasers Wycombe Wanders on Tuesday night after Adebayo Akinfenwa had cancelled out Chris Dagnall’s opener.
That followed up Saturday’s 5-0 demolition of Grimsby Town as Dagnall and George Cooper both scored twice to go with Middlesbrough loanee Callum Cooke’s goal on his home debut.
The wins have allowed them to move up a place to 18th in the League Two table, six points clear of the relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s trip to Blackpool, kick off 3pm.
“The players do everything they can in their preparation for the games. They are a good group,” Artell told crewealex.net.
“They are really, really good fellas here and I have been in a few dressing rooms during my career.
“That is not to say they cannot be closer and more vocal. They can bond more and we will be trying to do that as we move forward.
“A lot of them are still young and are not used to being in different dressing rooms, we will try to get them out of their shell.
“They can become even closer and we will help them do that because we know it will benefit them on the pitch when it’s needed.”
The Alex left it late to secure their first back-to-back league victories since September as Jones converted from the spot with three minutes of normal time remaining after Chairboys defender Sido Jombati held back George Ray.
Artell believes Tuesday’s win was more impressive in many ways than Saturday’s comprehensive success.
“Saturday was a great performance but everything we didn’t have to show on Saturday because of our superiority we had to show tonight,” he said after the game.
“We had it in our spades, the attitude, that never-say-die attitude has got the three points.
“They all showed that passion and desire and I’m proud to be their manager. That is what I expect every game and we were against a top team.
“They have been up there for most of the season and we had to grind out a result.
“We were excellent with the ball on Saturday but we had to show the other side of the game tonight. It was a real battle.
“It’s a double at home and only one goal conceded in three home games and we have scored seven goals, so plenty to be positive about.”
Meanwhile, The Alex have been drawn away to Hyde in the semi-finals of the Cheshire Senior Cup.
Should they win the tie, to be played on week commencing March 6, they will face either Nantwich Town or Warrington Town in the final.