After starting his tenure with two matches away from home, David Artell will lead his first match at Blundell Park as our Head Coach tomorrow afternoon when we host Crewe Alexandra in our latest Sky Bet League Two match (3pm kick-off).
His first match at BP sees his face the team he previously managed for over five years and, with Crewe currently sitting in the Play-Off spots, it will no doubt be a stern test.
During his pre-match press obligations this week, Artell revealed that he could be set to welcome back some players to the fold who were unavailable last weekend but wouldn’t confirm any identities.
Alex Hunt started his first match since our 2-1 Bristol Street Motors Trophy defeat against Bradford City in October last weekend against Oxford, days after impressing from the bench against MK Dons, and could be set for his first league start since our defeat at Swindon in late September.
Relegated ahead of the 2022/23 season, Crewe’s first term back in the fourth tier was a disappointing one with the Railwaymen finishing thirteenth in the table, two places and three points below the Mariners.
After starting that season as an Assistant to Alex Morris after their relegation, now-Manager Lee Bell was given the top job on an interim basis in November 2022 before being given the job full-time a month later. Steering them to mid-table after taking over part-way through the campaign, Bell has seen his team kick on further this season with them currently finding themselves in fifth place in the fourth tier.
The turnaround in form comes off the back of a summer where the Cheshire club were reasonably quiet in the transfer market in terms of incomings with just four players joining on permanent transfers with a further three joining on loan.
Among those recruits were experienced defender Mickey Demetriou from Newport County, winger Shilow Tracey from League One’s Cambridge United and Jack Powell from Crawley Town.
Their top scorer so far this season is Courtney Baker-Richardson who, after missing a large part of last term through injury, has eight goals to his name so far.
Crewe come into the match off the back of a four-match unbeaten run in the league, winning three of those before a 1-1 draw at Sutton a fortnight ago with an impressive home victory over Notts County included in that spell.
Tomorrow’s visitors have only tasted league defeat on two occasions this season, the last of those coming at Salford in early October.
Town come into the match on our own four-match unbeaten run in the league with a point in our last match against MK Dons giving new Head Coach Artell a positive impression of the side he inherits.
Our last victory came against Morecambe a month ago when we defeated the Shrimps 3-2 at Blundell Park.
Overseas supporters will be able to watch David Artell’s first match in charge at Blundell Park on Mariners TV with match passes available for £10 – they are available HERE.