Crewe Alexandra: Steve Davis had boardroom backing in 'dark days'

Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis
Crewe have won 69 of their 190 matches under Steve Davis since he took charge in November 2011

Crewe Alexandra chairman John Bowler says that manager Steve Davis always had the board's backing even during this season's worst days.

The League One club had to rely on results elsewhere as they narrowly avoided relegation back to League Two on the final day of the campaign.

"There were dark days," Bowler told BBC Radio Stoke." But if you get rid of the manager you've still got dark days.

"You might as well find a way out with one you know you can trust."

He continued: "If we believe we've got the right management team. We'll work with them. As far as we're concerned, we're in it for the long term.

Bowler's managers
Dario Gradi was Alex manager when John Bowler became chairman in 1987. Gradi remained in charge until the summer of 2007 when he stood down to allow Steve Holland to take charge. Holland, now number two to Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, was sacked in November 2008, at which point Gradi resumed control until the appointment of Gudjon Thordarson six weeks later. After Thordarson's dismissal in October 2009, Gradi then had a further two years in charge before handing over the reins for a third and final time to Steve Davis in November 2011.

"If you're reliant on youth development, as we are, we know that youngsters can take time to develop. If you have got the person you believe to be the right man to take the club forward, together you can get through the dark days."

Having remained fully supportive of the manager during such an uncomfortable campaign, Crewe can now look forward to a fourth straight season under Davis in the third tier of English football.

There have only been four managers at the club since Bowler, 78, became chairman of the Alex in 1987 and he insisted the key to their future survival in League One was honesty and trust.

"We had many long chats after games together with the management team and there was some straight talking," he added. "You need a team that's honest with each other."