Crewe need more mental strength, says Carl Martin

Crewe Alexandra defender Carl Martin
Carl Martin has made just two starts in the Football League for Crewe

Defender Carl Martin believes a lack of mental strength is to blame for Crewe Alexandra's poor start to the season.

Crewe lost 2-1 at home to Gillingham on Saturday, making it three consecutive defeats for Dario Gradi's side.

"We've got good defenders and a good team that works hard, but I think we need to get stronger mentally," Martin told BBC Radio Stoke.

"We've got a lot of individuals who are resilient but we need to do it as a team when our backs are to the wall."

Martin continued: "I think we proved in the second half that we can come out and put their backs to the wall, but we need to do it from earlier on in the game."

Crewe were 2-0 down inside 25 minutes on Saturday and could not rescue a point, despite Shaun Miller's second-half goal.

Hereford and Macclesfield are the only other League Two sides yet to register a point so far this season.

Martin was making his first appearance for Crewe since April 2010, replacing the injured Matt Tootle.

Persistent injury problems have restricted the defender to just two starts since joining from non-league Wealdstone in 2009.

"It was my first 90 minutes for ages so my body is in bits," said Martin. "But I really enjoyed being back playing.

"Individually, I think I did alright but we lost so I can't be too happy about it."

Crewe are back in action on Tuesday, when Rotherham are the visitors to Gresty Road.

BBC Radio Stoke will have live commentary of Crewe v Rotherham on Tuesday, 16 August from 1945 BST.