I'm not in a position to do a lot about it

Last updated : 27 December 2003 By Tony Scholes

Crewe boss Dario Gradi was simply purring after the match after his makeshift side made up of youngsters picked up all three points in the Boxing Day clash against the Clarets.

"It was always going to be a hard game because there are a lot of kids out there and it reminds me of when we were throwing kids in when were in the old Fourth Division," said a beaming Gradi after the game.

"I think they have done superbly well to win a game when we have been outpassed because I did think the opposition did more on the ball than we did this afternoon.

"What we had to do was defend very well and I thought we did that well. I thought Burnley would defend better but they came here and had a go and that gave us all the space in behind to get the goals.

"Dean Ashton’s goal reminded me of the Dean of old (he’s now 20), turning and scoring a super individual goal. Steve Jones was in and out of it in the first half but was always a threat and I thought he took his two goals really well.

"Stan Ternent will probably be thinking they have done enough to have done better but that’s what most managers have said coming here."

Gradi then spoke of more of his youngsters. "Luke Varney was having to defend a lot in the second half and whilst he is very keen on that side of his game I wanted to change it. I was looking around for someone to improve our side and that man was Gary Roberts because I know he can defend and wouldn’t let us down."

He wasn’t happy about the penalty decision but did have a word for the player who gave it away.

"I didn’t think it was a penalty but what I think doesn’t matter because referees always give those and it is what the referee thinks that matters. When player come to this club though they need to learn that we don’t want people making challenges in there and hopefully Anthony Tonkin will learn from that."

It is worth noting with Gradi’s comments about kids that of the thirteen who took part in the match for Crewe yesterday a total of nine of them were aged 21 or younger and they ended the game with two 16 year-olds on the pitch.

Once again the word disappointed has been used to describe Stan’s reaction and in fact that’s just what he had to say about the game.

"It’s very disappointing. We were every bit as good, if not better, than them," he claimed. "But we gave ridiculous goals away and I’m not in a position to do a lot about it. But we’ll keep working hard and turn it around.

"For the first goal they’ve broken away and scored and for the second Graham and Arthur have got in a real mix up. And that’s 2-0.

"Then for the third it is a long ball over the top and the kid has stuck it away.

"It is soul destroying really because we had three times as many chances as them and it is similar to Preston."

Regarding the absence of David May and the early departure for Glen Little, Stan added: "Glen has hurt his hamstring and David May was ill unfortunately."

And a final word for the fans.

"People work had for their money to travel and watch us and they deserve better than what they are getting. I’ve told the players that and we need to improve."