CREWE Alexandra boss Dave Artell says his side’s League Two destiny is in their own hands as they look to move further clear of the relegation places.
The Alex produced a superb performance on Saturday to record a 1-0 victory at promotion-chasing Portsmouth.
George Ray scored the only goal at Fratton Park and it means Crewe sit seven points clear of the relegation places in 19th as they bounced back from defeats to Stevenage and Hartlepool.
Artell’s side welcome bottom side Newport County to Gresty Road on Saturday, kick off 3pm, and the Crewe boss has challenged his side to be more consistent in the final 11 games of the season.
“Our destiny is in our own hands and I truly believe we can get the points we need, but we are looking for better,” he told crewealex.net.
“We need to try and be more consistent. We had a great week and got seven points out of nine and then we shot ourselves in the foot against Stevenage.
“We conceded from two set pieces when we were very much in the game. We made mistakes rather than losing for footballing reasons.
“It wasn’t for lack of trying or not running around, which meant that the second half performance against Hartlepool was even more frustrating.
“That was down to non-football reasons and the players knew it was unacceptable.
“We wanted a response at Portsmouth and we certainly got one.
“When we work hard and run around like that, we are a match for anyone in the league. It is just about applying ourselves.”
Midfielder Billy Bingham returned to the starting line-up on Saturday and linked up well with James Jones in the centre of the pitch.
With the experienced Danny Hollands out for another seven weeks with a hamstring injury, Artell says Bingham’s return could not have been better timed.
“I was pleased with way Billy played on Saturday. I thought he and James Jones were the two best players on the pitch, along with Alex Kiwoyma,” he said.
“They controlled the tempo of the game and were never really threatened defensively.
“They kept the ball well and with Danny ruled out, it has been good to have Billy back with us.
“It is just a question of trying to keep him fit and on the pitch and we are trying to help him with that.”
Meanwhile, defender Zoumana Bakayogo has triggered an extension clause in his contract with the club, meaning he is now tied to the club until the end of next season.
The Alex have also booked their place in the final of the Cheshire Senior Cup after a 4-0 victory over Hyde United in the last four.
They will face either Nantwich Town or Warrington Town.