Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell has admitted that he has a soft spot for Middlesbrough, but is hoping to see his players give a good account of themselves in tonight’s EFL Cup clash at the Riverside Stadium.
Both teams will be hoping for three points this evening after suffering defeats at the weekend and Crewe manager Artell has been speaking to the media ahead of the game.
Artell has admitted that he is a big admirer of Middlesbrough as a football club and that he is expecting a tough game at the Riverside Stadium, but is hoping to see his players give a good account of themselves.
“Middlesbrough is a good football club, has good people and it is well run from top to bottom. I think most people have a soft spot for Middlesbrough in football because of the way it is run,” he told Crewe’s club website.
“I hope they do well but just after our game. It should be a great occasion in a big stadium. They are two leagues higher than us but it is up to us to go and show what we can do.
“It is a competition that we both want to progress in, so it doesn’t matter what team Jonathan Woodgate selects, they will be a tough opponent regardless.”
Jonathan Woodgate is hoping for his first win as Middlesbrough manager this evening, having seen his side draw 3-3 with Luton and lose 1-0 to Brentford in both of his matches in charge so far.
Woodgate took charge of Middlesbrough earlier this summer following the club’s decision not to renew Tony Pulis’ contract, after he failed to guide the team to promotion from the Championship last season.
The Middlesbrough boss has named an unchanged side for both of his matches in charge so far, but is expected to make several changes for tonight’s first-round tie at the Riverside Stadium.
Fair play to Artell here. He obviously has a lot of respect for Middlesbrough and the way they go about their business as a football club, but he’ll be hoping for his players to cause an upset in the cup tonight.
There’s no doubt that Crewe will be considered underdogs going into tonight’s game, but there’s no reason why they can’t have a go and try to take the game to Middlesbrough.
I’m expecting Middlesbrough to have too much firepower for Crewe tonight but hopefully the visitors can give a good account of themselves against Championship opposition.