Crewe Alexandra Preview

A look ahead to Bolton's fourth friendly of pre-season at Alexandra Stadium on Saturday afternoon

Crewe Alexandra v Bolton Wanderers,
Saturday 28 July,
Alexandra Stadium, 3pm Kick-Off

Bolton Wanderers have returned back to British soil and continue their pre-season schedule at the 10,153 capacity Alexandra Stadium on Saturday.

Crewe are the opponents in the fourth friendly, three weeks before all the competitive action gets underway at Turf Moor on August 18.

As with the three previous matches, Owen Coyle can expect a thorough examination from a club that will be playing their football in League One this upcoming season.

The Railwaymen secured promotion in May, winning the League Two play-off final after beating Cheltenham Town 2-0 at Wembley Stadium. Indeed, their form in the end of last season saw them go on a club record 19-match unbeaten run.

Their current manager, Steve Davis, has been at the club since November 2011, replacing their longest serving manager Dario Gradi who was in charge at Crewe for no less than 1,362 matches in two separate spells.

During his playing career, Davis had a five-year spell at the club between 1983 and 1987 making 145 appearances. His son, Harry Davis, is currently a centre-back for the club.

Crewe are well known for its successful youth development. Notable players to have come through the academy

include former internationals Rob Jones, Neil Lennon, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson and Dean Ashton. Crewe have made a successful start to their pre-season campaign having beaten Congleton 2-0, Quorn 3-0 and Chasetown 7-1 in recent weeks.

They have had more recent success with England Under-18s striker Nick Powell, who finished their top scorer last season. He joined Manchester United earlier this summer.

As for Wanderers, manager Owen Coyle believes his team will step up a gear from the previous matches against Ayr United, Hamilton Academical and Falkirk.

He said: "Against Falkirk, Mark Davies looked more like himself particularly in the second half before we took him off.

"Sam Ricketts got 90 minutes, Martin Petrov got 90 minutes and the skipper played for 70, so there were a lot of pleasing aspects.

"Andy Lonergan again, when he was called upon, showed that he's a top goalkeeper and he'll look to challenge Adam.

"There were a lot of pleasing aspects over the seven days but we know there's further room for improvement and one of those is obviously making sure we finish our chances.

"Bit by bit, we look to step it up and get some players now 75 minutes, 90 minutes and start to build up for August 18when the Championship starts."

Wanderers supporters that are planning to head to the game on Saturday are advised to note that they will be sat in the Whitby Morrison Stand which holds 1,694.

Admission is priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

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