Crewe Alexandra: David Artell backs his 'wobbly' side to get up off the canvas
Crewe Alexandra manager David Artell believes his "wobbly" League Two side are good enough to get up "off the canvas" and fight to stay in the EFL.
Since succeeding Steve Davis as manager on 8 January, Artell has so far been unable to halt the Alex's poor form.
Crewe are 21st, having taken just one point from 12 and are only four points clear of the relegation zone.
"We've been down on the canvas for a long time now but I still believe in the players," Artell told BBC Stoke.
"One win and you're up on your knees, not on your backs. Another win, you've still got wobbly legs but you're stood up. Another win and you're throwing punches back.
"We've not given up the ghost, far from it. We've got to fight."
Tough block of games for Artell's Alex
The 36-year-old former Crewe defender points out that three of the four games under his charge were against leaders Doncaster and two other occupants of the current top five, Exeter and Luton.
He also argues his side outplayed Cheltenham, only to draw 0-0 and that they can do the same this weekend against Grimsby.
"We've got better players than Grimsby," he added. "We had better players than Cheltenham. Over the next few weeks, we've now got easier games and we've got to take advantage.
"It's the silly mistakes you make when you're down at the bottom of the league. So many little things. Poor defensive headers, poor defensive clearances. Not tracking your man, letting your man inside."
One positive piece of news is that defender George Ray, who was taken off in the 12th minute of Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Exeter City with a knee injury, may not be out too long.
"He's seen a specialist," said Artell. "But the injury is not as bad as first feared."