Crewe Alex: 1,000 fans may not be enough to open up stadia says boss Artell

  Posted: 20.11.20 at 11:41 by The Editor

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DAVE Artell says the government needs to allow more than 1,000 fans back into stadia otherwise it won't be cost effective for clubs.

The Crewe boss remains cautious about a reported U-turn on the potential for fans to return to football before Christmas and believes the numbers need examining.

Football was previously bracing itself for doing without crowds until next spring. But the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, DCMS, is said to be working on a return to sports venues in some parts of England where infection rates are low next month.

A round of pilots in football back in September were restricted to 1,000 admissions before the scheme was abandoned as coronavirus infection rates started to rise again.

Artell warned: "It seems the government is trying to do its best and help because the fans are important in terms of support and financial support.

"But I would say if we are bringing 1,000 fans back in it would cost more to open up stadiums. There has to be a commonsense approach and I hope that the fans will come back in fairly quickly."

"I've read the reports, but I've also heard that if we 'have a Christmas' then we will have 25 days away from grandparents.

"It is confusing, maybe. But we all hope it happens and that a vaccine, while not a magic bullet, will help so we can get back to normality as soon as possible."

After impressive wins over leaders Peterborough and Oxford, on Tuesday, Crewe are at sixth-placed Portsmouth tomorrow.

It is another stiff challenge in what has been a tough opening quarter to the season, which Artell says his players have negotiated by showing the tremendous character and resilience he expected of them.

"I never thought we were far away when we were losing games 1-0. We had to tweak one or two things," said the manager.

"Some teams lose three on the spin and it is damaging, but I never feel that with this group of players here as I think they have got the ability to recover. The commitment and desire to get a good result is a real good quality to have and our lads have got that.

"They are not fazed so hopefully we can go to Portsmouth and round off an excellent week."

One concern amid a morale-boosting time was the news that summer signing Donervon Daniels will be ruled out for between three and four months.

The centre-half underwent surgery on a hamstring injury that proved to be worse than it was first thought.

Artell explained: "Donervon had a scan three weeks ago and the results suggested it was a modest injury. We stepped up his rehab, but a new scan showed he needed to see a hamstring consultant.

"He went to London and had the operation on Tuesday. We hope that he will come back stronger than ever."

Meanwhile, striker Chris Porter has returned to light training.

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