David Artell: Crewe Alexandra manager understands players' fears over future
Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell says he understands his players' fears over whether they have a future at the club.
Speaking before Alex's final League Two game of the season at home to Barnet, Artell told BBC Radio Stoke: "There's been some difficult conversations.
"But I've been sat where they're sat, which is important. I understand the fear they're going through.
"It's part of the job. It's not something that's nice, not something I take lightly, but it's got to be done."
Artell, who inherited the job when Steve Davis was sacked in January, is expected to announce his retained list for the 2017-18 season next week.
"Some maybe could say they weren't given an opportunity," he added. "That would be a valid argument. But I said to them some weeks ago 'You're self-employed. Don't think I'm the bad one'. They have to ask themselves: 'Have you done enough?' Look in the mirror."
Several players, most notably defender Jon Guthrie, have been made an offer.
"There's a few we've given a written offer to," said Artell. "They've got a month.
"If they want to leave, then man up and tell me. If they want to sign, then sign.
"If they don't come back to us in a month, they won't be here anyway. The decision will be made for them. If they want to call my bluff, I hold all the aces."
As for Artell's own future, having been given the job until the end of the season, he hopes to have convinced chairman John Bowler and the Crewe board that he has done enough to warrant staying on as manager on a more permanent basis.
"I'm sure the chairman will give me a nudge when he's ready," said Artell. "It's not in my hands. He said we'd speak in May. I'm not worried. I trust him implicitly."