Sheffield United: Lane date could test Steve’s patience

Crewe Alexandra's Steve Davis

Crewe Alexandra's Steve Davis

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Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis admits he is losing patience with his players ahead of tomorrow’s League One fixture at Sheffield United.

The visitors will arrive at Bramall Lane ranked 18th in the table and having lost five of their last eight games.

Speaking after Tuesday’s heavy defeat by Stevenage, which followed victories over Bristol City and Preston North End, Davis said: “I’ve had to go into the changing room and say the same things as I said a couple of games ago. We were looking like we had shown recovery but we’ve just gone straight back to what we were before.

“The slightest mistake hits us and the confidence in some players. They go hiding.”

Davis added: “I’ve got to ask how long I can keep going with some people. I have come to the crossroads and how long do I keep faith?

“If they can’t reach the high standards week in week out then that’s a problem and I’ve got to correct it.”

United, who appointed Nigel Clough as their new manager on Wednesday, are 21st despite recording a creditable draw with second-placed Peterborough during Chris Morgan’s final match in caretaker charge.

Clough guaranteed every member of his squad “a clean slate” after signing a two-and-a-half year contract.

Davis, by contrast, hopes to make a series of forays into the loan market although defender Harry Davis could return against United following injury while Brad Inman is expected to be declared fit after contracting a virus.

A goalkeeper, central midfielder and centre-forward are believed to top Crewe’s wanted-list.

“We’ve got some players who would play but who have been injured,” Davis said. “Although I don’t want to make excuses for our results.

“We had six players missing on Tuesday but the players I put out were certainly good enough to have won the game.”

“We didn’t have enough goal threat with the players we had out there against Stevenage,” Davis added. “Brad will add to that, and he should get the all clear from his consultant.

“The shape has been very good, it’s kept us solid with having five in front of the back four.

“It’s given the defence some confidence but when some players make mistakes it’s then very difficult for them because the five in front can’t affect that.

“Stevenage harassed us, that was their game plan. But we have to play quicker and also think much quicker out there on the pitch too.”