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27 Jul 2023 : Billy's takeaway from Crewe outing provides food for thought

Media manager Sam Phillips got the lowdown from manager Billy Paynter on Tuesday's friendly. The boss felt there was plenty to take away from the 3-0 defeat to a very well-drilled Crewe Alexandra XI. Here's what he had to say:

SP: Our first pre-season outing at home to Crewe Billy, what did you make of the game?

BP: It was great to be back on home turf at the APEC Taxis Stadium and especially to see such a great turnout from our fans in pre-season. The match was a great challenge and test for our players against a Football League club.

SP: The game presented us with different challenges than what we have faced so far because of the standard of opposition?

BP: Crewe are known for being a very good footballing team and like to move the ball quickly in possession. They also pressed aggressively and with an intensity. So the challenge for our the players was to be organised out of possession, try to stop passes through the middle of us and try to be disciplined in our positions when Crewe were rotating.

SP: So how do you feel we dealt with this overall?

BP: There was plenty of movement from their midfielders to disrupt our midfield and bring them out of their positions to play the ball into forwards' feet. I felt we coped with this better in the second half and did it even for spells in the first half.

SP: What lessons can be learned from the game?

BP: The challenge for the players was once we had possession to be composed with the ball; be brave to get on it at times. We were too easy to give possession away when it was so hard to win it back.

This was highlighted from 32 minutes to 39 minutes, as we conceded the two goals from our mistakes in possession. As I said, it was a big test, particularly for our younger players, but I was really pleased with the displays of Adam Moseley and Josh Roberts.

SP: Thanks for joining us, Billy and we look forward to hearing your thoughts after Saturday's game at the APEC when we host National League North side, Southport.


Peter Wylie gets to grips with the task on his return to the APEC Taxis Stadium after a season with City of Liverpool. (Courtesy of Tom Paul).

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