Football - Davis' plan pays off

Crewe boss Steve Davis saw his plan work to perfection as his side won 3-0 at Coventry to all but secure their place in the Johstone's Paint Trophy final.

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Football - Davis' plan pays off
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Steve Davis saw his counter-attacking plan pay dividends

Coventry dominated the first half but could not find the breakthrough and they were made to pay for that by some ruthless finishing by the visitors after the break. Bradden Inman scored twice on the counter attack to put Crewe in charge before Ajay Leitch-Smith picked Coventry off as they went in search of a goal to cling to ahead of the second leg.

Davis said: "We set up to counter attack and the plan worked. We knew we couldn't match them on the attacking side, we knew we had to be cautious. We watched them. We didn't want it to be open. We can attack but we thought that would be wrong so we didn't plan to do that."

He continued: "We felt that was the best thing to so. We have pace with Byron Moore, Brad Inman and Ajay Leitch-Smith who can take a chance so we thought we would play a certain way. They are our best finishers at the football club so we didn't want them back defending too much.

"They had to do a lot of defensive work because of the pressure we came under and we led a bit of a charmed life and we rode our luck, which you sometimes have to do in games, but our blocking was superb."

The hosts were entertaining the biggest number of Sky Blues fans since they played in the charity shield at Wembley in 1987. Coventry manager Mark Robins felt his side got carried away by the 31,054 crowd - and the fact that they had to replace first-choice keeper Joe Muprhy with back-up Chris Dunn did not help either.

"I wouldn't attach any blame whatsoever to the goalkeeper," said Robins. "I thought we were a victim of our own incredible support. We wanted to try and win the game here and it was naive. It's not a one-off event, we had to try and stay in the game.

"If you can't score then you draw 0-0. The players know that. They just got carried away in trying to score for the supporters because you knew the roof was going to lift off if we did. It was electric in here.

"We created numerous chances and couldn't take any so we became anxious and continued to try and get the goal. I wanted them to try and get the goal so fair play to them but we were naive.

"We left the middle of the pitch wide open and didn't get behind the ball. It was disappointing. They had seven shots all game and had three goals."

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