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Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 15:07 UK

Crewe Alexandra have let down fans - John Bowler

Crewe Alexandra chairman John Bowler
Crewe chairman John Bowler has urged supporters to stay with the club

Crewe Alexandra chairman John Bowler has admitted that the club have let their supporters down after a disappointing season in League Two.

The Alex finished 18th, having been tipped as contenders for promotion at the start of the season.

"We've got a great group of supporters and we've let them down this season," Bowler told BBC Radio Stoke.

"We haven't achieved what we wanted, but hopefully they'll stay with us and enjoy the excitement of next year."

Crewe were relegated to League Two in May 2009, and a poor start to the campaign forced Bowler into the decision to sack manager Gudjon Thordarson in October, nine months after his appointment.

"We set out with the play-offs firmly in mind, but we've not had the consistency this year," continued Bowler. "We've conceded too many goals and that's something we've got to put right.

"It was disappointing that it didn't work out [with Thordarson] and we had to make those changes, but I don't think that was the main reason for it."

Dario Gradi will remain in charge of first-team affairs next season, and Bowler believes the emergence of younger talent towards the end of the campaign gives cause for optimism.

"The highlights have been to see players like Luke Murphy, Ashley Westwood and James Bailey in the team, and the progress that Shaun Miller's made," he said.

"There's a lot to be excited about and we've got to find a way of making sure that excitement turns into deliveries next year."

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